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Ellen DeGeneres makes people laugh every day. But she says there’s one person who does the same thing for her: Portia de Rossi, Ellen's wife of nearly 12 years. If you’ve watched The Ellen DeGeneres Show or follow them on Instagram, you probably know a thing or two about one of Hollywood’s most famous couples.
We're taking a look back at their milestones, drama with the media, and hilarious moments they've shared with us along the way.
2000: They meet, and Portia says it was love at first sight.
Mutual friends introduced the two at a social gathering, but they didn’t express feelings for each other. At that point, Ellen was a well-known actress and comedian, and Portia was in the middle of her tenure as an actress on Ally McBeal. Years later, Portia described how she felt during their first meeting in an interview with Oprah.
"It took me three years to actually tell her how I felt about her because I was on Ally McBeal at the time and I was not living as an openly gay person. I was closeted and very, very afraid that if I talked about being gay, it would be the end of my career, so I wasn't about to date the most famous lesbian in the world."
December 1, 2004: Ellen and Portia reconnect at an awards show.
While attending the VH1 Big in ‘04 Awards, the duo crossed paths yet again. Ellen was there to present, Portia was receiving an award with her Arrested Development cast, and rumor has it that sparks flew. Two weeks later, People reported that Ellen had a "new squeeze."
August 2005: Portia opens up about her sexuality and love for Ellen.
In a candid interview with Advocate, Portia talked about how happy she was with her new partner. "She’s incredible," she said, later adding, “And it’s a very respectful, very loving, peaceful relationship. We have a lot in common; we share the same outlook on life. I really feel not alone for the first time in my life.”
May 16, 2008: Ellen announces their engagement on her show.
The California Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage, and the TV host shared the good news with her audience. With Portia in the crowd, she also announced that the couple was getting married.
August 16, 2008: Portia and Ellen get married.
The brides exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at their home in Los Angeles. Just 19 relatives and friends were there, and the couple wore outfits designed by Zac Posen.
November 2009: A big interview with Oprah.
In their first interview as a married couple, Ellen and Portia talked about how important it was to get married. "It feels like you're home. There's an anchor. There's a safety," DeGeneres said. "We are all equal citizens, and we should have the same right that anybody else on this earth has."
September 2010: Portia changes her last name to DeGeneres.
Portia released a statement that she had legally changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres.
“I am thrilled to legally adopt my wife’s name,” she said, according to Reuters. “I will continue to use Portia de Rossi for professional purposes.”
Always one to fire off a joke, Ellen took to Twitter to write, “I just got some amazing news. The court has granted Portia’s name change. She’s now officially Portia Winfrey.”
September 2015: Ellen squashes breakup rumors.
During an interview with Howard Stern, the star talked about her blissful marriage, and shut down any notion that there were problems in her marriage.
“I don’t know why they do this,” she said. “We’re kind of flattered … we’re madly in love, and I guess it’s boring.”
June 2017: Ellen talks to Good Housekeeping about the couple's Kid.
While Ellen and Portia don't have children, they do have a dog named Kid. The pup's siblings are dogs Wolf and Augie, and cats Charlie, George, and Chairman.
And it sounds like their pets rule the roost: "It's more like they let us sleep in bed with them. Portia and I are allowed about one-third of the mattress, and they have the rest," Ellen said.
Soon after, in our interview with the star for our September 2017 issue, she revealed that the couple has dinner together every night.
"Portia understands me completely," she said. "In our vows, she recited a quote — 'It is good to be loved. It is profound to be understood' — and to me, that's everything. What 'I love you' really means is 'I understand you,' and she loves me for everything that I am. She supports me and makes me happy."
February 2018: Portia gives Ellen an unforgettable birthday present.
When she appeared on Ellen, Portia brought Ellen to tears when she presented a special gift for her wife's 60th birthday. The project, called The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, will serve as a resource to help wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
“That is the best gift that anybody could have given me,” Ellen said. “I love you.”
August 16, 2018: They celebrate 10 years of marriage.
The two often gush about each other on social media, but they were particularly thrilled to ring in the 10th anniversary of their nuptials. To honor her wife of a decade, Portia shared a video and photo montage from their big day.
Ellen posted the same video, and later a more light-hearted video of the two on a rollercoaster back in 2010. “Life is a roller coaster. I’m glad I’m sitting next to you, Portia de Rossi,” she captioned the clip.
December 2018: Ellen’s gift flops.
Ellen had the cutest surprise planned: She hired a plane to fly a banner that said “15” with a heart, representing the years the couple had been together. However, she soon learned that the banner was much smaller than expected. So small, in fact, that Portia couldn’t even see what was written. See the LOL-worthy video here:
Today: Still so in love.
Ellen continues to host The Ellen DeGeneres Show every weekday and Ellen's Game of Games every Tuesday. Moreover, Ellen will be front and center in a five-part Apple TV+ series called Visible: Out on Television, which will explore representation for LGBTQ people on TV. Meanwhile, Portia is now the owner of General Public, which she describes as an art curation and publishing company.
Despite their busy schedules, the two continue to have so much fun together — just look at the below Instagram.
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