Ellen DeGeneres recognised with special award at Golden Globes
At the Golden Globe Awards, Ellen DeGeneres was presented with the Carol Burnett Award.
The Carol Burnett Award recognises “outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen.”
“I’m really happy for every single thing that happened in my life…” said Ellen, accepting the award. “I’m happy for the hardest times of my life. I feel like that’s what makes you. If everything’s easy you don’t have anything to compare it to.”
Ellen praised past television stars and the impact they had on her career. In addition to lauding Burnett, DeGeneres thanked Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas, Dick Van Dyke, and Bob Newhart, as well as citing the detective series Mannix.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do was make people feel good and laugh…” said Ellen. “There’s no greater feeling than when someone tells me that I’ve made their day better with my show or that I’ve helped them get through a sickness or a hard time in their lives. But the real power of television for me is that — not that people watch my show, but people watch my show and then they’re inspired to go out and do the same thing in their own lives, make people laugh or be kind or help someone less fortunate than themselves. That is the power of television. I’m so, so grateful to be a part of it.”
Ellen was brought onstage by Kate McKinnon, who thanked DeGeneres for showing her that LGBTQ people could be on television.
The Ellen DeGeneres story
Born in 1958, DeGeneres was born in Louisiana. When her mother re-married, the family moved to Texas.
DeGeneres went to college in New Orleans, where she majored in Communication Studies, but she dropped out of college and began working a variety of different jobs.
After college, while she was working in New Orleans, DeGeneres began to try her hand at stand-up comedy. By 1981, she had progressed to become the emcee of a local comedy club and from there began to tour the national comedy circuit.
In the 1990s, DeGeneres moved into television – playing supporting roles in a number of sitcoms, before landing her own series. Simply called ‘Ellen’, the sitcom launched in 1994.
In 2003, DeGeneres launched her talk-show. It is the talk-show that has made her an international celebrity and one of the most influential people in the world of entertainment.
In 1997, during the fourth season of Ellen, DeGeneres spoke publicly for the first time about her sexuality. This coming-out process was mirrored on the sitcom where the character of Ellen also came out as a lesbian.
DeGeneres has since spoken about how her decision to talk about her sexuality impacted her career and made it difficult for her to work for a number of years.
After a number of high-profile relationships, DeGeneres began dating actress Portia de Rossi in 2004. The couple were married in 2008 – almost immediately after the state of California enacted marriage equality legislation.
The couple tied the knot on 17 August, 2008 at their Los Angeles home – in the presence of just 19 guests.
Ellen publicly marked the day of their 11th wedding anniversary with a black-and-white throwback picture from their wedding day.
In the photo, the couple are seen laughing – both wearing white, Portia in a dress and Ellen in a suit.
Alongside the photo, Ellen wrote: “Happy anniversary, Portia. 11 years. My favorite number with my favorite person.”.