De Rossi, born Amanda Lee Rogers in HorshamVictoria, Australia, is the daughter of Margaret, a medical receptionist, and Barry Rogers. Her father died when she was nine.She grew up in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong, Victoria, and modelled for print and TV commercials as a child. In 1988, at the age of 15, Rogers adopted the name Portia de Rossi,by which she remains best known; in 2005, she explained that she had intended to reinvent herself, using the given name of Portia, a character from William Shakespeare‘s The Merchant of Venice, and an Italian last name. She has admitted, in an interview she gave to the London Daily Mail, to having struggled with anorexia throughout her teens and young adulthood, from which she credits the love of Ellen DeGeneres for having saved her.

De Rossi was married to documentary film-maker Mel Metcalfe from 1996 to 1999, initially part of a plan to get a green card, but she did not go through with it. She said that “it just obviously wasn’t right for me”. In a 2010 interview on Good Morning America, she explained that as a young actress, she was fearful of being exposed as a lesbian.

From 2000 to 2004, de Rossi dated singer Francesca Gregorini, the daughter of Barbara Bach and the stepdaughter of Ringo Starr. She said that most of her family and Ally McBeal castmates did not know she was a lesbian until tabloid pictures of the couple were published. She declined to publicly discuss the relationship or her sexual orientation at the time.

De Rossi and Gregorini broke up in late 2004 because de Rossi began dating Ellen DeGeneres, whom she met backstage at an awards show. In 2005, she opened up publicly about her sexual orientation in interviews with Details and The Advocate. She and DeGeneres became engaged when DeGeneres proposed with a three-carat pink diamond ring. They were married at their Beverly Hills home on 16 August 2008, witnessed by their mothers and 17 other guests. On 6 August 2010, Portia filed a petition to legally change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. The petition was granted on 23 September 2010. She became a US citizen in September 2011.

In 2010, de Rossi published the autobiography Unbearable Lightness which talks about the turmoil that she has experienced in her life, including suffering from anorexia nervosa and bulimia and being misdiagnosed with lupus.She had struggled with the eating disorders for four years while filming Ally McBeal. To promote the book, she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.In 2013, de Rossi announced that she and DeGeneres were not planning on having children.

Current Projects
Scandal
Portia as Elizabeth North
Genre: TV Series
Current: Season 5
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Now Add Honey
Portia as Beth Morgan
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 2014
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