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De Rossi, Portia (b. 1973)  
page: 1  2  

De Rossi has also appeared in a number of other films and television programs, including Paul Goldman's 2003 biopic about Frank Sinatra and Barbara Marx, The Night We Called It a Day, and Eric Laneuville's America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr Story (2003), in which she played Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.

In 2005 De Rossi portrayed a fortune-teller in Wes Craven's thriller Cursed; and in the 2007-2008 television season, she appeared as a lesbian in a recurring role in FX Network's Nip/Tuck.

At the end of 2004, de Rossi left her relationship with Gregorini to become involved with one of television's most famous lesbian personalities, Ellen DeGeneres. DeGeneres also left a long-term lover, photographer Alexandra Hedison, in order to begin her relationship with de Rossi.

DeGeneres had made a gigantic media splash in 1997 when both she and the character she played on her sitcom, Ellen, had come out as lesbians.

Becoming lovers with DeGeneres pulled de Rossi the rest of the way out of the closet in terms of public awareness of her lesbianism, as media sources from the tabloids to People reveled in reporting the details of the two high profile breakups and the new romance.

When the California Supreme Court overturned laws barring same-sex marriage in the state in May of 2008, DeGeneres and de Rossi announced that they would wed in the summer.

In an intimate ceremony, attended by only 19 guests, DeGeneres and de Rossi were married at their Beverly Hills home on August 16, 2008. The wedding was attended by both their mothers.

In 2009, De Rossi joined the cast of ABC's comedy, Better Off Ted, in which she plays an unapproachable boss.

In an appearance on the talk show The View in order to promote Better Off Ted, De Rossi was asked by conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck whether the battle for marriage equality was just a disagreement over semantics, "is the word [marriage] more important than the rights?"

In response, De Rossi eloquently defended the quest for marriage equality: "Every citizen of this country should have that legal right to be married," she said. "Marriage the word actually does mean something because people who see a gay coupling as a lesser thing in society can continue to [think] it's lesser than marriage when really it's the exact same thing. The exact same love, the exact same commitment, love of family."

Tina Gianoulis

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arts >> Overview:  American Television, Situation Comedies

American television sitcoms have consistently reflected the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, often in distorted and stereotyped ways, but occasionally in ways that acknowledge our humanity and complexity.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Lesbian

Lesbian actresses have played a significant role in Hollywood, but their contributions have rarely been recognized or spoken of openly; the "lavender marriage" is by no means a relic of the past.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

arts >> DeGeneres, Ellen

No matter how great her contribution to the world of comedy, Ellen DeGeneres will probably be best remembered as the first lesbian to star as a lesbian on her own network television show.

social sciences >> Proposition 8 (California)

Proposition 8, also known as the California Marriage Protection Act, was the ballot proposition that amended the California state constitution to ban same-sex marriage; after prolonged litigation in both state and federal court, it was finally struck down in June 2013.


Anderson-Minshall, Diane. "Whatever Happened to Her?" Curve 12.4 (2001):

Bennett, Sarah. "The Portia de Rossi Guide to Public Relations." Afterellen.

Griffin, Nancy. "Flights of Fancy." In Style 9.4 (April 1, 2002): 410-13. 

Kort, Michele. "Portia Heart and Soul." The Advocate (September 13, 2005): 40-47.

Lee, Luaine. "Portia de Rossi Definitely Is Not a Case of 'Arrested Development.'" Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service (November 3, 2003).

"Portia de Rossi." Internet Movie Database.

"Portia de Rossi to Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Gay Marriage Should Be Called Marriage." Huffington Post (December 4, 2009):

Shaw, Jessica. "Portia Control." Entertainment Weekly 793 (November 19, 2004) 34-35.


    Citation Information
    Author: Gianoulis, Tina  
    Entry Title: De Rossi, Portia  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated January 31, 2010  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  


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