Portia Lee James DeGeneres, also known professionally as Portia de Rossi, is an Australian–American actress, model, and philanthropist. She currently appears as a regular cast member on the American political thriller television series Scandal in the role of Elizabeth North and she also portrayed Veronica Palmer on the ABC television sitcom Better Off Ted, and Olivia Lord on the television drama Nip/Tuck. De Rossi is married to comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres, de Rossi, born Amanda Lee Rogers in Horsham, Victoria, Australia, is the daughter of Margaret, a medical receptionist, and Barry Rogers. Her father died when she was nine years old and she grew up in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong, Victoria, and modelled for print and TV commercials as a child. In 1988, at the age of 15, Rogers adopted the name Portia de Rossi, by which she remains best known. In 2005, she explained that she had intended to reinvent herself, using the name of Portia, a character from William Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice. She was educated at Melbourne Girls Grammar School and the University of Melbourne and her first significant role was playing a young and impressionable model in the Australian 1994 film Sirens. Soon afterwards she moved to Los Angeles, and won guest roles on several TV shows, during this time in the United States, de Rossi worked diligently to replace her Australian accent with her current American one. She garnered international attention when she joined the main cast of Ally McBeal in 1998 and she remained with the show until its end in 2002. In 2001, she starred in Who Is Cletis Tout. with Christian Slater, from 2003–06, de Rossi starred as Lindsay Bluth Fünke on Fox Televisions Arrested Development. She portrayed John F. Kennedy, Jr. s wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, in the made-for-TV movie Americas Prince, The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story in 2003 and an Australian reporter who inspires a protest against Frank Sinatra during a tour in The Night We Called It a Day. In 2005 she portrayed a fortune-teller named Zela in the Wes Craven thriller Cursed, from 2007–2008, de Rossi appeared in Nip/Tucks fifth season as Julia McNamaras girlfriend, Olivia Lord. In 2009 and 2010, de Rossi played the high-strung and controlling Veronica Palmer on the ABC show Better Off Ted, in 2011 she appeared in Better Off Ted cast member Malcolm Barretts music video for Revenge of the Nerds, spoofing her character Veronica in a cameo. In May 2007, she was featured as one of 100 Most Beautiful in a People special edition, TV Guide included her and Ellen DeGeneres in their Power A-List couples in 2007. In February 2012, it was announced that ABC had ordered a pilot for a new drama series The Smart One, executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, and featured de Rossi in a leading role. The actress was to star as a brilliant and successful woman who goes to work for her less-brainy but more popular sister – a former beauty queen, weather girl. The show was not picked up to series for the 2012-13 season, six years after the series was canceled by Fox, filming for a revived fourth season of Arrested Development began on 7 August 2012 and de Rossi reprised her role as Lindsay Bluth Fünke
Portia de Rossi in February 2007
Portia De Rossi (left) and her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, in September 2012.