Portia de Rossi Wants a New Last Name: DeGeneres

Now that the state of California has made Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres' marriage legal once more, De Rossi is taking it all the way -- by changing her name! The actress married the talk-show host DeGeneres in an August 2008 ceremony (after California began issuing gay marriage licenses), and she filed a petition on Friday to legally take Ellen's last name. If the request is approved -- and no reason why it wouldn't be! -- her driver's license will now read Portia Lee James DeGeneres. (Guess "De Rossi DeGeneres" was one "De" too many?)

The name change will be official after a Sept. 23 hearing. This actually won't be Portia de Rossi's first name change: The Australian star was born Amanda Lee Rogers. She invented her new name for her teen modeling career, and legally changed it at age 15. In 2005, she explained the name Portia de Rossi to The Advocate:

"I picked Portia because I was a Shakespeare fan. De Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more than Amanda Rogers. When you live in Australia, Europe is so far away and so fascinating, so stylish and cultured and sophisticated."

De Rossi, 37, also said that the name change had to do with her sexuality: "In retrospect, I think it was largely due to my struggle about being gay. Everything just didn’t fit, and I was trying to find things I could identify myself with, and it started with my name." So in a way, taking Ellen's name is coming full circle and embracing her life as a gay woman. Pretty cool.

It's possible that De Rossi intends the latest name change as an anniversary present to DeGeneres, 52 -- their second wedding anniversary will be Aug. 17. Hope it wasn't supposed to be a surprise!

What do you think of Portia de Rossi changing her name? Chime in below!

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