Ellen DeGeneres turned 63 on Jan. 26. On her special day this year, she hosted Inauguration poet sensation Amanda Gorman, was treated to a multicolor birthday cocktail created by chef José Andrés of World Central Kitchen, and shared her advice for celebrating a birthday during a pandemic.
The embattled world-famous talk show host typically dedicates an entire episode of her show to the special occasion — including gifts for her audience and cameos by iconic celebrity friends. But this year she addressed a virtual studio audience, promising a “do-over” for the pandemic birthday next year. “As soon as this thing is over, we get two birthdays,” she said. “That means two cakes and two presents per guest, and two hangovers.”
Those fortunate enough to be in the audience for DeGeneres’ birthday show in the past have received Netflix gift cards that covered five years of the subscription service, $300 Lyft rideshare service gift cards and a three-day, two-night stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hotel.
DeGeneres is still struggling to bounce back from a rocky 2020, in which her show was dogged by allegations of a toxic work culture. She’s also only recently recovered from COVID-19, which she contracted in December 2020.
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Ellen DeGeneres’ Net Worth: $370 Million
DeGeneres’ net worth is estimated to be roughly $370 million, according to Forbes (though by some estimates it’s as high as $500M). In 2020, DeGeneres made $84 million, retaining the No. 12 spot on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid celebrities in the world. Her wife — actress Portia de Rossi — has her own $50 million fortune, which brings the celebrity couple’s total net worth to $420 million.
Starting out as a stand-up comedian, DeGeneres rose to fame as an actress, starring in the TV series “Ellen” from 1994 to 1998 and “The Ellen Show” from 2001 to 2002. Her daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” debuted on Sept. 8, 2003, and had consistently high ratings until the recent controversies. Upon her return to the show in September, her season premier ratings dropped 29% from the previous season, Variety reported. In 2015, “The Ellen Show” won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment. According to Celebrity Net Worth, DeGeneres receives an estimated annual salary of between $75 million and $90 million.
DeGeneres has hosted the Oscars twice, both in 2007 and in 2014. She made history during the 2014 gig by tweeting a group selfie with a gaggle of famous friends, including Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey — a photo that has received more than 3 million retweets since being posted.
DeGeneres famously voiced the character Dory in the 2003 Pixar films “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory.” She’s also found major success behind the camera with her own production company A Very Good Production.
Ellen DeGeneres’ Business Ventures
The tech-savvy superstar launched the site Ellentube in 2014, which hosts exclusive video content from her talk show. In 2015, she also partnered with Vessel to debut one or two clips from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on the streaming site before they’re available anywhere else.
DeGeneres has also ventured into the beauty and fashion world. In 2009, she became the face of COVERGIRL. She also previously served as the spokeswoman for JCPenney and American Express. And her lifestyle brand, ED by Ellen — including clothing, accessories and home decor — launched in 2015.
In late 2017, DeGeneres also debuted a new game show titled “Ellen’s Game of Games” on NBC, expanding the popular games which have been previously featured on her talk show.
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Ellen DeGeneres’ Real Estate Portfolio
DeGeneres and wife de Rossi have made a name for themselves as real estate magnates. The couple has a knack for purchasing swanky properties and unloading them to fellow celebrities. For example, they became landlord to musician Nick Jonas in 2015, renting one of their many homes to the 28-year-old.
The couple purchased a mid-century modern Los Angeles mansion in January 2014 for nearly $40 million and promptly sold it to Sean Parker six months later for $55 million. Previously, in May 2012, they sold their 15,000 sq. ft. Beverly Hills compound to Ryan Seacrest for $36.5 million. The couple also purchased Brad Pitt’s former Malibu bachelor pad in 2011 for $12 million and sold it to cosmetics entrepreneur Victoria Jackson in 2012 for $13 million.
In March 2006 — prior to her marriage to de Rossi — DeGeneres sold a home in Hollywood Hills, Calif. to Will Ferrell for $9 million. She also sold former Google CEO Eric Schmidt a California home in 2007 for $20 million, which was later the site of Kim Kardashian’s wedding to Kris Humphries in 2011.
The total number of properties currently owned by the couple is unknown. DeGeneres released her interior design book “Home” in 2015, which included photos and design tips from many of their past and present residences. Their former Thousand Oaks, Calif. ranch — which they sold in 2013 for $10.85 million — was also previously featured in Elle Décor.
Ellen DeGeneres’ Honors and Awards
In November 2016, President Obama presented DeGeneres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “It’s easy to forget now just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages 20 years ago,” Obama said. Here’s a summary of other awards and accolades that the star has picked up over her career:
Golden Globe Awards
Daytime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Talk Show (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Outstanding Talk Show Host (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Outstanding Special Class Writing (2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019)
Outstanding Promotional Announcement – Institutional (2009, 2011, 2012)
Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Outstanding New Approaches – Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series (2013, 2014, 2015)
Outstanding Interactive Media – Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series (2016)
Outstanding Promotional Announcement – Image (2016)
Primetime Emmy Awards
People’s Choice Awards
Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Series (1995)
Favorite Daytime Talk Show Host (2005, 2006)
Favorite Funny Female Star (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Favorite Talk Show Host (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
Favorite Daytime TV Host (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Favorite Humanitarian (2016)
Favorite Animated Movie Voice (2017)
Favorite Comedic Collaboration (2017)
Producers Guild of America Awards
Teen Choice Awards
Choice Comedian (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female (2016)
Choice TV Personality (2017)
Choice Comedy Movie Actress (2017)
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Last updated: Feb. 3, 2021