Ellen DeGeneres was praised by President Barack Obama for her influence on the gay rights movement as she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Other celebrities including Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Michael Jordan were also among the 21 recipients of the country’s highest civilian honor.
President Obama said it was easy to forget the risk Ellen DeGeneres took to come out as gay in 1997.
During the award ceremony at the White House, he said Ellen DeGeneres’ bravery helped “push our country in the direction of justice”.
“It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far… just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago,” President Obama said.
“What an incredible burden that was to bear – to risk your career like that – people don’t do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders.”
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, which recognizes contributions to United States culture, security and international interests, is the highest honor a civilian can receive, alongside the Congressional Gold Medal, a similar accolade awarded by the US Congress.
“These are folks who have helped make me who I am,” Barack Obama said.
“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine.”
Honorees from the entertainment world included Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford and Cicely Tyson, as well as musicians Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross.
From the sporting world, former basketball superstars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan were awarded the medal, alongside sports broadcaster Vin Scully.
Bill and Melinda Gates were awarded for their philanthropic work through their charitable foundation.
Despite Barack Obama’s words on the contribution Ellen DeGeneres made to the country, she almost missed the ceremony after security refused to let her in to the White House.
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted alongside a photo of herself sitting on a nearby park bench: “They haven’t let me in to the White House yet because I forgot my ID.”
Ellen DeGeneres and other stars are set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor.
The medal recognizes people who have made “especially meritorious contributions” to the United States, the White House said.
President Barack Obama will honor the 21 people at a ceremony on November 22.
The president said the medal was a “tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better”.
“From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”
Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross and Robert Redford are among the other honorees from the entertainment world.
Bill and Melinda Gates and SNL producer Lorne Michaels will also be recognized.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to people who have contributed to the security or national interests of the US, the White House said.
It also rewards people who have contributed to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Honorees from the sports world include basketball players Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with veteran sports broadcaster Vin Scully.
Architect Frank Gehry, attorney Newt Minow, designer Maya Lin, polymath physicist Richard Garwin, mathematician and computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton and Eduardo Padron, and president of Miami Dade College in Florida will also receive the medal.
Posthumous honors will go to Native American advocate Elouise Cobell and Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.
All of us are already familiar with the life of certain celebrities who decided to skip college and commit to a career that eventually made them famous. Some of these examples are Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Al Pacino, etc. This, of course, does not mean that after reading this text you should rush to leave your university. On the contrary, these are just tips that can be helpful in whatever life cycle you currently are.
Follow your dream
You got into a certain college because that move was expected of you or you simply thought that you can find happiness in doing a certain profession. If you happen to realize that this college and future job are not for you, you can always take a step back. This is the time to clearly analyze the situation as well as your own wishes and preferences. Focus on something that fulfils you. By doing so, you can find a completely new career that would suit you the best and change colleges. In case you’re still not ready to choose and accept that you need and deserve some more time, it’s perfectly fine to dedicate yourself to a hobby and redirect your talents to whatever feels comfortable even if it doesn’t seem profitable in the beginning.
Listen to your inner voice
Be persistent even when your immediate surroundings aren’t. Nobody got rich overnight. Work hard to achieve the goal you want. This clearly defined goal can be your secret strength and power when your enthusiasm fails you or when negative thoughts such as finding no perspective in what you do occupy your mind. If you feel it right in your gut, you’ve definitely made a right choice.
Believe in yourself
Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and use them both to your advantage. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean that you have to negate your whole personality to make room for positive traits only. Actually, if you’re aware of your weaknesses you can make an effort to overcome them and be wary of them. Also, don’t be modest with your personal virtues. Use everything you’ve got as an advantage over the competition.
Improve yourself constantly
No one is born with the entire world’s knowledge. Just because you’ve decided that sitting in the university lectures is not for you doesn’t mean that you should give up studying. Quite the opposite. Take up a course in the area of your personal interest. That way you can meet like-minded people who can help and direct you. Also, this is a much faster way to obtain a certificate which can serve as a springboard for your future career advancement.
Do not waste time on insignificant details
You must have noticed that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg always dress the same. They decided that spending time picking clothes is only going to waste when they can use this time wisely and do something constructive at their job. If you have your own small business do both of you a favor – wear branded promotional T-shirts that you use as a promotional gift. That way you won’t have to worry about your outfit and will do some smart advertising at the same time. Be practical and don’t let little things distract you from the desired goal.
Learn to listen to your needs. If you feel constrained and stressed dare to take a step out of the comfort zone. No one knows better than you what you need at any given time. Be brave and bold. If you don’t try to move, you increase the risk of depression. Do what it takes to get up in the morning with a big smile and in good spirits. Change yourself and your environment in a positive way and be an example to others that anything is possible.
Portia de Rossi spent thirty days in a treatment facility in Malibu, California, In Touch magazine claimed earlier this month.
The actress entered the Passages Malibu rehab for a 30-day treatment and her wife allegedly visited her every weekend to offer support.
Now, the tabloid cited sources who claim that Portia de Rossi believes Ellen DeGeneres cheated on her before she went to rehab and the couple is now sitting down on a leather sofa somewhere, receiving couples therapy.
Portia de Rossi entered the Passages Malibu rehab for a 30-day treatment and Ellen de Rossi allegedly visited her every weekend to offer support (photo Getty Images)
“It’s going to take a lot for Portia to trust Ellen again,” a source told In Touch magazine.
“They kept up with the therapy after Portia got out of rehab, but they still have a long way to go.”
The magazine writes that Ellen DeGeneres’ alleged dalliance was “with one of their mutual friends right before Portia’s rehab stint in May”, according to a source.
This isn’t the first time that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have seen their names attached to headlines declaring marital turmoil. Tabloid chatter has followed them consistently since they tied the knot in 2008. Ellen DeGeneres addressed one of the reports during a sit-down chat with People magazine in February, putting to rest any lingering questions of their commitment to one another.
“The truth is, and this is corny, I fall more in love with Portia all the time. I really do. She surprises me all the time,” Ellen DeGeneres said.
“It’s what anyone experiences when you find that person that gets you, wants to take care of you, wants the best for you. We’re really lucky because we know how rare it is,” she told People magazine.
Hollywood stars are boycotting Beverly Hills Hotel because of a harsh Islamic penal code introduced by Brunei’s government.
Comedians Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres are among the celebrities supporting the boycott against the Beverly Hills Hotel and other hotels owned by Brunei.
After a heated debate, the city council unanimously voted to condemn Brunei.
Brunei’s leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, announced the first phase of the new penalties last week.
They will eventually include death by stoning for homos**uality and adultery.
Jay Leno speaks at the protest across from the Beverly Hills Hotel
The mayor of Beverly Hills, Lili Bosse, had urged the city council to adopt a resolution condemning Brunei’s new laws and force the country to sell the hotel and others it owns through the Dorchester Collection chain.
The council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the sultanate but the meeting was divided on whether to boycott the hotel. Many disagreed with Mayor Lili Bosse’s decision to no longer attend functions there.
Earlier, Virgin group founder Richard Branson tweeted on Saturday his employees and family would not stay at the luxury hotel chain “until the Sultan abides by basic human rights”.
Several organizations have cancelled events at the hotel, long a gathering place for Hollywood celebrities, including the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s annual Night Before the Oscars charity event and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s annual Global Women’s Rights Awards.
During a small protest in front of the hotel on Monday, Jay Leno said: “I’d like to think that all people are basically good and when they realize this is going on, hopefully they’ll do something about it.”
But Christopher Cowdray, the chief executive of the Dorchester Collection chain, said those protesting have ignored local hotels owned by countries with poor human rights records.
“There are other hotel companies in this city that are owned by Saudi Arabia… you know, your shirt probably comes from a country which has human rights issues,” Christopher Cowdray said, adding a boycott would hurt local employees the most.
The US government has been largely quiet on the change to Brunei’s penal code, but the state department said on Tuesday it had privately relayed concerns to the Brunei government.
The initial phase of the new penal code introduces fines or prison terms for offences including indecent behavior, failure to attend Friday prayers and pregnancies out-of-wedlock.
The second phase due to start later this year will cover crimes such as theft and robbery and will involve more stringent penalties such as amputations and flogging.
The most severe punishments, such as death by stoning for offences including sodomy and adultery, will be introduced late next year
Brunei officials have previously said that judges would be given discretion in sentencing. It is not clear to what extent the code will apply to non-Muslims.
The tiny state, on the island of Borneo has grown rich on oil and gas exports.
Almost three-quarters of those who live there are Malay Muslims, but there are sizeable Buddhist and Christian communities.
Ellen DeGeneres is joining HGTV with a six-episode competition series, Scripps announced at its upfront presentation on Tuesday.
Ellen’s Design Challenge will feature six competitors as they tackle challenges to sketch, design and build furniture in just 24 hours. Throughout the series, the contestants must showcase their creativity and versatility to impress a panel of judges. The last one standing will win a cash prize.
Ellen DeGeneres is joining HGTV with a six-episode competition series (photo Ellen)
“I’m so excited about this show because I love finding really special pieces of furniture,” Ellen DeGeneres said.
“One time I found a beautiful one-of-a-kind armoire that spoke to me in a way I’d never experienced. It turned out there was a drifter living inside of it, but that’s a story for another time.”
Ellen’s Design Challenge, which will be produced by Ellen’s production company, A Very Good Production, and A. Smith & Co. with Telepictures is scheduled to premiere in 2015.
This year’s Oscars ceremony, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, was watched by 43 million TV viewers in the US.
According to broadcaster ABC, it was the biggest audience for the Academy Awards in a decade.
The audience was 6.4% bigger than last year when the event was fronted by Seth McFarlane, according to ratings figures from Nielsen.
The most recent biggest TV audience was 43.6 million in 2004, when The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King cleaned up.
The most watched Oscars ceremony on television came in 1998, when the triumph of Titanic with 11 Academy awards was seen by 55.3 million viewers.
This year’s Oscars ceremony, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, was watched by 43 million TV viewers in the US
Last year’s choice of irreverent host Seth McFarlane drew criticism from some quarters. Ellen DeGeneres – hosting the event for the second time – was seen as a safer pair of hands.
Ellen DeGeneres received mixed reviews for this year’s ceremony, but her tenure was seen as a step away from recent attempts to draw in younger audiences.
Despite this, data from ratings trackers Nielsen suggested that there was an increase of 1% in the 18 to 34-year-old audience bracket.
Regardless of the critics’ views, Ellen DeGeneres’ staged a “selfie” photograph with several of the stars in the audience which was a hit on social media, setting the record for the most re-tweets on Twitter – more than two million.
Ellen Degeneres declared she wanted to break the record for the most re-tweeted photograph in history, featuring herself surrounded by the front row talent – and best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong’o’s brother.
She broke the record within the hour, and in doing so, broke Twitter’s servers too.
Twitter said that 14.7 million Oscar-related tweets were sent worldwide during the telecast.
Ellen DeGeneres took full advantage of Jennifer Lawrence’s repeated inability to stay upright in her opening monologue at Sunday night’s Oscars.
In her second go-round as the master of ceremonies for The Academy, Ellen DeGeneres reminded the audience that Jennifer Lawrence fell as she went to retrieve her award for Best Actress at last year’s Oscars.
“I am not going to bring up what happened last year,” she teased.
Ellen DeGeneres took full advantage of Jennifer Lawrence’s repeated inability to stay upright in her opening monologue at Sunday night’s Oscars
“It’s ridiculous, I mean something like that happens, and it’s embarrassing, and people just talk about it. It’s just, you know… for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Jennifer Lawrence last year, she fell on the way up, tripped. I don’t know if she got caught on the tip of the dress, but… let’s show the clip.”
She didn’t show it, but she made sure that everyone knew that Jennifer Lawrence was caught slipping again this year.
Other highlights included making fun of June Squibb’s age by intimating that she’s hard of hearing, calling Liza Minnelli “sir” and joking that, if 12 Years a Slave didn’t win best picture, the whole Academy was racist.
12 Years a Slave has won best picture award at this year’s Oscars ceremony.
However, space drama Gravity won the lion’s share of awards the 86th Academy Awards.
Gravity‘s Alfonso Cuaron became the first Latino to win the best director award, adding to the film’s six Oscars for technical achievement.
Cate Blanchett was named best actress for her portrayal of the heroine in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
Matthew McConaughey won the best actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club.
It is the second consecutive year the best director and best picture prize have been awarded to different films.
Alfonso Cuaron praised the “transformative” power of film and singled out the film’s star Sandra Bullock as “the soul, the heart of Gravity”.
Gravity – which took five years to complete, and owes much to the technical prowess of British visual effects specialists – also won Oscars for film editing, sound mixing, sound editing, cinematography, visual effects and original score.
Steve McQueen, the British director of 12 Years a Slave, dedicated the best picture Oscar to “all those people who have endured slavery”.
Based on a true story, it follows the life of a free black man – Northup – who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana.
Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o won the best supporting actress award for her film debut as slave worker Patsey.
The Kenyan actress paid tribute to her character and thanked her for her “guidance”.
The film won a third Oscar for John Ridley’s adapted screenplay.
Spike Jonze collected the best original screenplay for Her. His first film as sole writer and director stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a computer operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
12 Years a Slave has won best picture award at this year’s Oscars ceremony
As predicted, Matthew McConaughey took the best actor prize for his role as real life rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof, who smuggled HIV drugs into the US.
Matthew McConaughey, formerly a rom-com regular whose roles centred on his good looks, lost 50 lbs to play Ron Woodroof in the low budget indie drama.
Best actress winner Cate Blanchett paid tribute to her rivals, including Judi Dench – who was not at the ceremony – acknowledging “the random and subjective” nature of awards ceremonies.
Matthew McConaughey’s co-star Jared Leto won the first Oscar of the night, picking up best supporting actor for his role as transgender woman who becomes Ron Woodruff’s business partner and unlikely friend.
In an emotional speech Jared Leto thanked his mother, who accompanied him to the awards, “for teaching me to dream” and dedicated his award to “those who have ever felt injustice because of who they are, or who you love”.
Dallas Buyers Club also picked up a third award for make-up and hairstyling – with the transformation of Jared Leto and his co-star, Matthew McConaughey, rumored to have been achieved on a budget of $250.
Frozen, which recently tipped $1 billion at the global box office, scored two Oscars.
The 3D film about an icy princess and her sister was named best animated feature film, with its song, Let It Go – performed by star Idina Menzel – winning best original song. It is loosely based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
The Great Gatsby also picked up two Oscars, for costume design and production design. The awards were picked up by Baz Luhrmann’s partner Catherine Martin.
But there were no awards for David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which had 10 nominations, including nods in all the acting categories. Nor were there any awards for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
The first British win of the night came for Tim Webber and his team from London-based company Framestore for their visual effects work on Gravity.
Tim Webber paid tribute to his team, Gravity actors George Clooney and Sandra Bullock and director Alfonso Cuaron “for having the vision to create this breath-taking film and the audacity to make it happen”.
The second British win of the night went to director Malcolm Clarke, who won an Oscar for his documentary short The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life.
The film follows Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest known survivor of the Nazi Holocaust and an accomplished pianist. Paying tribute to Alice Herz-Sommer, who died last week at the age of 110, he praised “her extraordinary capacity for joy and amazing capacity for forgiveness”.
Ellen DeGeneres hosted the ceremony, for the second time, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Ellen DeGeneres took some time out of her talk show on Wednesday to address rumors that have surfaced in the last several months suggesting she and Portia de Rossi are split-bound.
“The other day I was at the hair salon getting these extensions put in,” Ellen DeGeneres joked.
“And there were tabloids all over the hair salon… and on one of them, Portia and I were in the top right-hand corner. And I thought, <<Oh that’s so sweet, they’re honoring us>>. But then I read the headline underneath. And it said, <<Ellen and Portia Marriage Crumbles>>. And I was like, <<Oh, what happened? They seemed so happy>>. And then I was like, <<Wait, I’m Ellen>>. And I should know if that was happening.”
Ellen DeGeneres took some time out of her talk show to address rumors suggesting she and Portia de Rossi are split-bound
Ellen DeGeneres’s monologue took a more serious turn when she shot down the rumors.
“It’s so ridiculous to me. There’s not one ounce of truth to any of it. I’m very happily married. In fact, the only thing we ever argue about is who loves who more. That is all. It really is true,” she said.
“And we argue if we’d let a kangaroo carry us around in its pouch for a year. I would. She wouldn’t. She’ll change her mind. Who wouldn’t want to be in the pouch of a kangaroo for a year? Hopping around. And she’s like ‘no’ but anyway.”
And if an announcement about some big change in her life ever needs to be made, Ellen DeGeneres, 55, promised: “I’ll announce it here first.”
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi married in August 2008 after 4 years of dating.
According to a number of unconfirmed rumors which have surfaced in the press recently, Portia de Rossi and her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres may be on the rocks.
Star magazine claims that the current relationship issues are over an alleged crush Ellen DeGeneres has on none other than Pamela Anderson.
Portia de Rossi’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres may be on the rocks
According to the publication, a source claimed that Ellen DeGeneres not only has a crush on Pamela Anderson but is more or less obsessed with her.
The source said: “[Pamela Anderson] is all Ellen talks about these days. It’s become a real issue for Portia.”
The publication further claimed that Portia de Rossi needs to watch out since Pamela Anderson cut her hair short like Ellen DeGeneres’: “As the old theory goes, when two people spend way too much time together, they start to look alike.”
Ellen DeGeneres’ show posted record ratings during this year’s 12 Days of Giveaways.
Her daytime talker reported her highest-rated week ever for the one beginning on December 9. The show averaged a 3.2 household (HH) rating during the time period — a 7% increase from prior week, which had previously tied for the highest-rated one ever.
The week of December 9 also pulled in a daily average of 4.4 million total viewers.
Ellen DeGeneres’ show posted record ratings during this year’s 12 Days of Giveaways
Ellen show posted a 3.4 HH rating on December 9, matching her highest-rated episode ever, which also happened to occur on the prior telecast. December 6’s show hit the same high mark, which Ellen show had posted twice before that. This year’s Halloween episode also had earned a 3.4 HH rating, as did a show in February 2007.
The guests on the December 9 episode were Jake Gyllenhaal, who was plugging the Prisoners DVD release, and Guest DJ Loni Love. The telecast got 4.7 million viewers.
Tom Hanks and Lea Michele from Glee also stopped by during the record-breaking week.
Ellen DeGeneres’ 12 Days of Giveaways spanned from December 5 to December 23, which represented a surprise 13th day.
Ellen DeGeneres received an Emmy nomination for her job hosting the 2007 Oscars and now she will be taking the helm again at next year’s ceremony.
“It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars!” Ellen DeGeneres, 55, tweeted on Friday.
She added: “I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.”
It will mark Ellen DeGeneres’ second time as Oscar host after she emceed the 79th Annual Academy Awards in 2007, for which she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program.
“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time,” Ellen DeGeneres said in a statement.
“You know what they say – the third time’s the charm.”
This year’s host, Seth MacFarlane, drew mixed reviews for an edgy performance. He had already taken himself out of the running for a return engagement next year.
Ellen DeGeneres will emcee the Academy Awards for the second time
Oscars producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron expressed their delight at having the talk show queen back.
“As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars,” they wrote in press release.
“There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”
“Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO.
“She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”
Ellen DeGeneres became a household name with her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has earned 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.
The 2014 Oscars Ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Gwyneth Paltrow has branded the revealing Antonio Berardi dress she wore it at this week’s Iron Man 3 premiere in Hollywood a “disaster” and “humiliating”.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who had been crowned the World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine ahead of the racy red carpet appearance, spoke about her dress during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.
The star admitted she was horrified to discover her “ass was hanging out” and also revealed she needed grooming before putting it on.
“Yeah, oh, I kind of had a disaster,” Gwyneth Paltrow told Ellen in an interview set to air on Friday.
Gwyneth Paltrow has branded the revealing Antonio Berardi dress she wore it at this week’s Iron Man 3 premiere a disaster and humiliating
“I was doing a show and I changed there and I went I couldn’t wear underwear. I don’t think I can tell this story on TV…
“Well, let’s just say everyone went scrambling for a razor…So I went from being the most beautiful to the most humiliated. In one day… I work a 70s vibe. You know what I mean?” Gwyneth Paltrow also talked about finding out she received People magazine’s title.
“My publicist of like 22 years, Stephen Huvane, sent me an email. And honestly I was like this is a joke. I reread it three times. I was like oh, he sent this to the wrong client. Like there’s no way,” the actress said.
“My name wasn’t on it… I was like oh this is not for me and it was actually psychologically interesting because for a minute I really thought that someone was playing a joke on me.”
Gwyneth Paltrow admitted: “I talked about it with my shrink.”