Ellen DeGeneres Opens Up That Her Girlfriend’s Death 20 Years Ago Started Her Career On Television

Date March 15, 2018

We all know Ellen DeGeneres as a person with an exceptional sense of humor and self-irony. However, life hasn't always been easy for the famous host star. As DeGeneres recalled to Dax Shepard in his Armchair Expert podcast, a terrible tragedy in her early years had an impact on her career and influenced her entire life.

Ellen talks about the tragedy which influenced all her life

The worldwide famous host, Ellen DeGeneres, wouldn’t reach her big break in comedy without one of the most tragic losses in her life. Ellen confessed she began writing sketches after her former girlfriend was killed in a car accident.

My girlfriend was killed in a car accident when I was like 20 years old. And I wasn’t doing comedy, I think I was probably waitressing someplace at the time. 

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In her early years, Ellen and her girlfriend were living together in a tiny basement apartment. DeGeneres recalled they struggled to make ends meet. Nevertheless, the young women were just happy to know they have each other, no matter what happens in their lives.


20 years ago, Ellen’s girlfriend passed away in a fatal car accident. After the tragedy, DeGeneres felt completely devastated, as her life was empty. The star recalled shortly after the accident, she was lying on a mattress on the floor in her tiny apartment, and that mattress was infested with fleas. Ellen thought at that moment:

Why is this beautiful 21-year-old girl just gone and fleas are here?

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The tragic death of her girlfriend resulted in material for Ellen’s first stand-up performance which would eventually become her career-changing and most memorable joke. Her famous “Phone Call to God” sketch, in which she calls God on the phone to ask why fleas exist, started her successful and lasting career in showbiz.

You can watch Ellen’s first-ever stand-up appearance in the video below.

Phone Call to God

Since that time, DeGeneres began her path in the entertainment industry and gained a title of the most outstanding female comedian on TV. Today, her popular talk show is watched by millions of people and broadcasted around the globe.

Who would have thought that the world's favorite Ellen DeGeneres had to go through such a terrible loss and depression to become who she is now.


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Ellen Degeneres Television Art