Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is America's favorite TV personality, even among Republicans.

The 55-year-old DeGeneres was rejected by Hollywood in 1997 after she came out gay on the cover of TIME magazine. But the former stand-up comic has overcome adversity to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Forbes calculated her earnings last year at $55 million.

According to a Harris Poll of more than 2,100 people released earlier this year, DeGeneres and Fox News conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly tie for the title of favorite TV personality among Republicans.

“That surprised us,” Regina Corso, a Harris Poll senior vice president, said in a recent The Los Angeles Times profile of DeGeneres. “We had to go back and double-check the data.”

“Culture changes all the time,” DeGeneres said of the findings, “so I try not to analyze it too much.”

The Ellen DeGeneres Show shows no signs of slowing down after 10 years. But the show almost didn't make it to the air because station executives worried that her comedy might be “too dirty” for daytime.

“I don't know what they thought,” DeGeneres said. “That I would stand in front of a rainbow flag and play a heavy rotation of Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls and k.d. Lang?”