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Portia de Rossi is now Portia Lee James DeGeneres

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Portia Lee James DeGeneres

Portia Lee James DeGeneres

© Frazer Harrison/Staff

Who is Portia de Rossi (Portia Lee James DeGeneres)?:

Portia de Rossi is an actress who was born under the name Amanda Lee Rogers in Melbourne, Australia in 1973. She changed her name to Portia when she was 15 after a character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. In 2010 she changed her name again this time to Portia Lee James DeGeneres.

What has Portia de Rossi acted in?:

Portia de Rossi's first movie role was in the low-budget movie Sirens in 1993 opposite Hugh Grant. She also appeared in Scream 2. In 1998, she joined the cast of Ally McBeal. Portia also starred in Fox TV's Arrested Development. She was in the series Nip/Tuck from 2007-2009 and in the TV series Better off Ted 2009-2010.

Where did Portia de Rossi meet Ellen DeGeneres?:

According to the New York Post's Page Six column, de Rossi and DeGeneres met at a photo shoot in early 2004. Both women were attracted to each other, but each had girlfriends and decided not to act on the attraction.

How did Ellen and Portia hook up?:

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi met up again at the VH1, Big in '04 awards and this time decided to act on their attraction.

Who else has Portia de Rossi been with?:

Portia was last paired with Francesca Gregorini, Ringo Starr's stepdaughter.

Coming Out of the Closet:

It seems even beautiful celebrities have a hard time coming out to their families. When Portia came out to her grandmother in 2005, as reported in The Advocate the first thing her grandmother said was, "Well this is a very bad day. Darlin', you're not one of those." Later her grandmother told her, she loves her just the same and would like to meet Ellen.

Hiding in the Hollywood Closet:

Portia's story is an all too familiar one for many Hollywood actors. She feared she would jeopardize her career if she came out of the closet. When she finally did come out of the closet, many people didn't believe she was gay. She told the Advocate, "I had a hell of a time convincing people I was gay--which was so annoying! First of all, you live with the fear people might find out. Then you actually have the courage to tell people and they go, 'I don't think you are gay.'"

Life with Ellen DeGeneres:

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres live together in Los Angeles. In her Advocate interview she said, "I'm very happy. I'm happier than I ever, ever thought I could be...She's incredible." Portia says when she first saw Ellen, she took her breath away. "That had never happened to me in my life, where I saw somebody and [experienced] all of those things you hear about in songs and read about in poetry. My knees were weak."

Portia and Ellen Marry:

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi married in August 2008 with a few close friends and family attending.

Portia Comes Out about Eating Disorder:

Portia has written a memoir in which she comes out about having an eating disorder. In the book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain Portia describes her battle with anorexia and bulimia.

In the book she tells of eating only 300 calories a day and how her self worth was so tied up in her weight. When her weight got down to 82 pounds, she collapsed on set of the movie "Who is Cletis Tout?" in 2000. She was told her organs were close to failing. That put her on the road to recovery.

Portia says, "I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude."

She also says that being a lesbian and feeling the need to hide it contributed to her eating disorder. In an interview with ABC she said, "I think I was trying to starve away my sexuality." But ultimately, it was finding love with Ellen DeGeneres that helped her accept herself as she is and to overcome her eating disorders.

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