The comic’s first public relationship after coming out was with actress Anne Heche. The former flames started dating in March 1997 and made headlines with their romance.
“My story moved the needle for equal rights forward, when I fell in love with Ellen DeGeneres,” the actress revealed while appearing on Dancing With the Stars in October 2020. “At my movie premiere for Volcano, I said I was taking Ellen as my date. I was told I would lose my Fox contract … I took Ellen to the premiere, I was ushered out and told I was not allowed to go to the afterparty for fear they would get pictures of me with a woman. It was unbelievable.”
The I Know What You Did Last Summer star added, “I was in a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years and the stigma attached to that relationship was so bad that I was fired from my multimillion-dollar picture deal and I did not work in a studio picture for 10 years.”
The pair split in August 2000, after over three years together. “With relationships, I think many of us have [been there], you come to a fork in the road, ‘What do you want and what do I want?’” Anne previously told Entertainment Tonight. “Her intent and my intent were different and that’s why we separated.”
Ellen went on to date photographer Alexandra Hedison from 2001 to 2004. After their break up, she started seeing actress Portia de Rossi — and nearly four years later, the beloved couple wed in their Los Angeles home.
Prior to coming out to the world, Ellen had two significant relationships. The first was with Kat Perkoff, whose untimely death in a 1980 car accident is said to have inspired the comedian’s “Phone Call to God” routine. The segment catapulted her career to stardom. Eight years later, the future A-lister started dating producer Teresa Boyd, but they split in 1996.
Scroll through the gallery below to see Ellen’s full dating history through the years.