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Portia de Rossi Biography

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Portia -- whose real name is Amanda Lee Rogers -- was born on January 31, 1973. One of two children, she was raised solely by her mother following her dad's death when she was only 9.

Realizing that life could be short and unexpected, Portia (who changed her name at age 15) decided to make "every moment count" and threw herself into a variety of projects, most notably modeling and TV commercials.

portia de rossi in sirens

Although she seemed like a natural from the start, Portia had no interest in pursuing acting professionally. Instead, she enrolled herself into the University of Melbourne with the hopes of becoming a lawyer (and getting A's in the process).

A year into her studies, Portia was approached by a casting director who had seen some of her commercials and thought she would be perfect for Sirens, a 1994 Australian comedy starring Hugh Grant. Portia eventually got the part of a nude model.

"It kind of turned my life upside down," said Portia about landing the part. Indeed, it would soon alter her game plan forever.

While on a 1995 trip to Denver -- to attend the Telluride Film Festival -- Portia, on impulse, decided to switch her return ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles in the hopes of jump-starting her newly discovered passion. Though she lived a hand-to-mouth existence at first, she eventually settled in with her new boyfriend, documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe, and things soon took off.


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