Oprah Winfrey has credited Ellen
DeGeneres' success in part to her 1997 announcement that she is gay.
The 54-year-old DeGeneres ranks 47th
on Forbes most recent annual The World's 100 Most Powerful
Women list and her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show,
is the second-highest-earning syndicated series behind the final
season of Winfrey's The Oprah Winfrey Show.
During the fourth season of her ABC
comedy sitcom Ellen, DeGeneres publicly announced she is gay.
In 2008, she married actress Portia de Rossi during the brief
June-to-November window when gay nuptials were legal in California.
Hollywood at first rejected DeGeneres
after her coming out. She recently told PARADE that she turned
things around by convincing producers that she was “not just gay”
but “a funny woman who happens to be gay.”
Winfrey, who guest-starred as
DeGeneres' therapist in her sitcom's coming out gay episode, told The
Hollywood Reporter that DeGeneres' announcement helped
further her career.
“Being able to be free – literally
– and to express herself in a way that she can be 100 percent
truthful with the audience has allowed them to fall in love with her.
Honest-to-God truth: I don't believe she would have been as
successful as she has become had she not come out,” said Winfrey.
& Portia DeGeneres make Forbes Most Powerful Couples list.)