20 Little Known Facts About Ellen Degeneres.

In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.

- Ellen Degeneres

Facts via IMDB

1/20. Ellen was the first choice to portray Phoebe Buffay in Friends (1994) but turned it down. The part then went to Lisa Kudrow.

2/20. She worked as a paralegal before becoming a comedian.

3/20. Ellen was initially reluctant to do a naked love scene in If These Walls Could Talk with Sharon Stone, but Ellen's then-girlfriend Anne Heche, who was directing this particular segment of the film, encouraged her to do it. Ellen eventually gave in.

4/20. When Ellen came out as a lesbian on her show in April 1997, ABC's affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, refused to air the landmark episode. Some of the show's sponsors, including Chrysler, withdrew their advertisements.

5/20. She was offered the role that Sandra Bullock eventually took in Speed.

6/20. Her mother, Betty Degeneres, sits in the audience for nearly every episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show.

7/20. She has English, French, German, Irish, and distant Dutch ancestry.

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8/20. Ellen is only the second woman to host the Oscars on her own. The first was Whoopi Goldberg.

9/20. She quit smoking cigarettes using the Allen Carr method (also known as Easy Way). She had been a long time smoker and was having trouble quitting.

10/20. She became vegan in 2010.

11/20. She was voted "Funniest Person In America" in 1982.

12/20. Degeneres was raised as a Christian Scientist until the age of thirteen when her parents divorced. When Ellen's mother remarried, they converted to his beliefs.

13/20. She is a huge animal rights activist. She once said, "I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her."

14/20. Madonna is DeGeneres' eleventh cousin.

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15/20. Following a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Carson invited Ellen over to the couch for an interview. It was a first for any female comedian.

16/20. Ellen has her very own ride at Disney called Ellen's Energy Adventure which is a popular attraction at the Epcot Future World park.

17/20. She collects antique mirrors and portraits.

18/20. She made a hilarious campaign on her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show in which she pleaded with Oprah to be featured on the cover of her magazine. Oprah usually appears alone, except for the cover in April 2009 which featured First Lady Michelle Obama. Oprah finally said yes!

19/20. She is known in the industry to be very punctual. Most sources say she arrives early to interviews.

20/20. Ellen gave Portia a beautiful 3 carat diamond ring for their wedding.

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