Ellen DeGeneres couldn’t help but shed tears on the set of “The Ellen Show” Thursday when wife Portia de Rossi gave her a very special birthday present for her 60th birthday.
“It’s your 60th birthday and this gift had to be really special and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about,” Portia told her. “Not just now, but what you’ve always cared about.”
De Rossi played a video showing scenes from the life of Dian Fossey, one of Ellen’s personal idols since she was a child. Fossey is well known for her work defending and documenting the mountain gorillas of Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains.
DeGeneres, who has worked for years to help rescue animals around the world, has said for the last two years that she wishes she could be doing more, de Rossi said. That was the inspiration for the gift that brought tears to her wife’s eyes.
“So for your birthday, Ellen, I am bringing you and your hero, Dian, together by building The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund,” Portia said. “Ellen, you will carry on Dian’s legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda. Now, you will join Dian as a protector and champion of these amazing animals, the mountain gorillas.
Not only that, Portia has also created The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund to help protect vulnerable species around the world.
“When we got married Portia’s line was it’s good to be loved, it’s profound to be understood, and she understands me because that is the best gift anybody could have given me,” Ellen said.