From 1994 to 1998, Ellen DeGeneres was the lead in the very successful ABC series aptly titled Ellen, but her subsequent announcement of her homosexuality in 1997 during an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show unfortunately saw a drop in ratings that led to the show’s cancellation during its fifth season. She moved on to stand-up comedy after the show’s end, and eventually attempted to return to television in 2001 with another sitcom, also aptly titled The Ellen Show, but it was short-lived and cancelled before the first season had finished airing on CBS.
It wasn’t until 2003 that she really reached the iconic status in Hollywood that she holds now, with the premiere of her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Who’s coming up with the names for these shows? Seriously.), a series that’s won her 32 Daytime Emmy Awards to date. Additionally, a highly public romance and eventual marriage to Arrested Development hottie Portia de Rossi, as well as her active campaigning for LGBT rights, cemented her status as a Hollywood A-lister.