TV host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres will make her return to the Oscars, serving as host for the second time at the 86th Academy Awards. This will be a return trip to the high-profile role. She served as host of the 79th Oscars in 2007, even receiving a Primetime Emmy nomination for "Outstanding individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program."
DeGeneres is, of course, best known for hosting her highly popular syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has racked up 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons. She began career ask an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans, later acting in sitcoms including These Friends of Mine, which was later titled Ellen for ABC, running from 1994 to 1998. The show broke a television milestone when her character came out of the closet in 1997, smashing ratings and earning her a Peabody Award.
She has also made her mark in big screen animation, playing Dory in the Pixar hit Finding Nemo. She will return as the voice of the character in the sequel, Finding Dory, scheduled for November 2015.
We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars," said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are returning to produce this year's Oscar telecast. "As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen's gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are."
"I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year's show," said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy's newly appointed president. "We're looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show." Boone made history earlier this week, becoming the first African-American and only third woman to head the the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
"I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say - the third time's the charm," said DeGeneres in a statement via the Academy.
Last year's broadcast, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, saw a ratings boost, but also drew criticism from some of his racy numbers and jokes.
The Academy Awards for "outstanding film achievements of 2013" will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.