Portia De Rossi Bio

Ally Character: Nelle Porter (1998- Present)
Height: 5' 7 1/2"
Birth Name: Amanda Marie Rodgers
Birth Date: January 31, 1973
Birth Place: Melbourne, Austrailia
Schooling: Attended Melbourne University Law School
Filmography: click here to read about her other roles

Trivia: Portia has a tattoo on her right middle finger, which she covers up on Ally McBeal with a ring. Got her role after Vanessa Marcil was forced to turn it down, due to signing on to Beverly Hills, 90210. She is also a natural brunette. She only eats meals standing up.

Nelle Porter: Nelle is one of the best litigators in the country & despite the decidedly weird going on at Fish, Cage & Associates, she actually accepted a job there. She, like her friend Ling, seems to rub women the wrong way, especially her co-workers. While defending Ally's right to wear short skirts, she managed to insult Ms. McBeal in the same instant. Nell nearly had a fling with John Cage, her ice queen reputation & affection for Ally scared him off. However, it seems whenever Nell lets her hair down Billy is usually watching with his tongue hanging out, while his wife Georgia is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to practice her kick boxing moves on Nell

Portia De Rossi: "I was a huge fan [of Ally McBeal]. If I couldn't see it, I'd tape it. My friends and I would talk about it. Now that I'm in it, it's kind of surreal." - People Weekly, November 30, 1998

Portia de Rossi lost her father to a heart attack when she was only 9 years old. The loss spurred Portia, who was raised by her medical receptionist mom, to live life to the fullest and to pursue every opportunity that came her way. At 11, she started a modeling career. By 14, she was appearing in commercials and had changed her name from Amanda Rogers to the more catchy Portia de Rossi. It seemed like Portia was destined for a career in showbiz, but the A student instead chose to attend law school. Portia was one year into the program when she auditioned for a role in the film Sirens (1994). It was just a lark: Portia only tried out for a role in hopes of meeting Sam Neill, one of the stars of the film. Little did she know that she would actually be cast in the film. After completing Sirens, Portia quickly realized that acting was her true calling. She ditched law school and moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to pursue the occupation full time. She got her big break just four years later in 1998 when Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley cast her on his hit show.