These days, though, Ellen says she's as happy as she's ever been. "I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego," she says. "I believe we're all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose. ... When you connect with that love and that compassion, that's when everything unfolds."

Ellen says there were some positive outcomes from the hard times. "I learned compassion from being discriminated against," she says. "Everything bad that's ever happened to me has taught me compassion."

After the years of struggling with her career, The Ellen DeGeneres Show first hit airwaves in 2003. It was an immediate success. These days, Ellen isn't just a talk show host. She's also the face of CoverGirl, the voice of American Express and the only person in history to host the Grammys®, Emmys® and Academy Awards®.


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