Portia de Rossi was born in Melbourne, Victoria and grew up in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong. She took on her present name at
the age of 15.
Portia's first significant role was as a young, impressionable model in the 1994 film Sirens. Portia de Rossi soon moved to Los Angeles and had guest roles on TV shows before landing a role in Scream 2.
Portia de Rossi garnered international attention when she joined the main cast of Ally McBeal playing regular lawyer Nelle Porter in 1998. She remained with the show until its end in 2002.
In 2001 Portia de Rossi starred in Who is Cletis Tout? with Christian Slater. From 2003 to present, de Rossi has starred as Lindsay Bluth Fünke on Fox Television's critically acclaimed Arrested Development.
Portia, who was once married for two years to documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe, is now openly lesbian. From 2000 to 2004, de Rossi dated singer Francesca Gregorini, daughter of actress Barbara Bach and stepchild of Ringo Starr. During this period, she dodged media questions about her s--ual orientation or the relationship, but was open to being pictured with Gregorini while in public.
In an interview years later with The Advocate, de Rossi said most of her family and Ally castmates learned she was gay through tabloid pictures of the two in 2001. The couple was reportedly planning to cement their relationship in a commitment ceremony or marriage and had talked of adopting a child together, but broke up in late 2004 as de Rossi began dating comedian Ellen DeGeneres. In 2005, Portia de Rossi officially came out and opened up about being gay in interviews with Details and The Advocate.
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