Lily Tomlin has credited Ellen DeGeneres with opening doors for gay actors in Hollywood.

Appearing on OWN's The Rosie Show, Tomlin, 72, discussed how things have changed for gay actors in Hollywood.

Tomlin, who met her partner and collaborator, comedy writer Jane Wagner, in 1971, explained that she had been asked to keep her relationship quiet.

“I've even had people say to me when Jane and I were doing specials. One of our writers, who was a really terrific person, and she said to me, 'You know, I think you and Jane should come to work in different cars.'”

“To keep it on the QT,” O'Donnell inserted.

“Yeah. Well, I said, 'Why would we do that?' And she said, 'People are talking.' You know, but they always talked. I never ...”

“It was never really a secret,” O'Donnell finished and Tomlin agreed. “But how society has changed ...”

“Yeah, that it's even possible to be. And that's really due to Ellen, in large part.”

O'Donnell agreed, then also gave credit to Neil Patrick Harris, who is raising two children with his partner. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

(Related: George Clooney: Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris have opened doors for gays.)