Early retirement! Portia de Rossi reveals on 'Ellen' that she has quit acting

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Hollywood can suck the life outta ya.

On the heels of Cameron Diaz’s retirement news, another 45-year-old actress, Portia de Rossi, has announced she is quitting acting too — later this month. The Australian-born star — who was recently in Scandal but is best known for her roles on Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, and Nip/Tuck — dropped the news while chatting with her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, during an appearance on Ellen’s show on Wednesday.

Ellen DeGeneres’s guest on Wednesday is her wife, Portia de Rossi, who talks about retiring from showbiz after Season 5 of Arrested Development. (Photo:  Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)

“I made this decision about 18 months ago,” de Rossi said on Ellen. “Shonda Rhimes wrote me off Scandal. It was fine. I called Mitch Hurwitz, who created Arrested Development, and I said if there is a Season 5, I won’t be doing it because I quit acting. He seemed really understanding and he totally got it. We had a great conversation — and then he wrote me into five episodes. Don’t know how it happened, but, yes, I am on Season 5.”

So after Season 5 debuts on Netflix on May 29, de Rossi will be officially done with scripts and early call times. Instead, she’ll be focusing on her business, General Public, which is an art curation and publishing company that is based on a 3-D technology called Synograph, which prints paintings. De Rossi, who is an artist herself (and who studied art in school), developed Synograph with Fujifilm.

“So I was approaching 45 and I just kind of was wondering is there something that I could tackle now that I’ve never done before that would be really challenging and different,” she explained of her decision to change things up. “I kind of knew what acting would look like for me for the next 10, 20 years, so I decided to quit and start a business.”

De Rossi added, “I see a lot of women in their mid-40s thinking about the next stages of their lives, and I didn’t want to regret not trying something.” She thanked her longtime love for her support.

While showbiz was kind to de Rossi in many ways — plum roles led to good money, and, more importantly, the entertainment biz led her to meeting Ellen backstage at an awards show — she struggled with eating disorders while filming Ally McBeal. Last year as the #MeToo movement blew up, she wrote on Twitter that Steven Seagal exposed himself to her during an audition for one of his films; de Rossi’s declaration prompted another woman to come forward with an accusation about Seagal.

Portia de Rossi attends the Other Art Fair Los Angeles opening night on March 15, 2018. (Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for the Other Art Fair)

Ellen and Portia own many properties and have a side business flipping houses for profit. They’re also really big about giving back — they’re currently working on building an Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Rwanda, which they are raising $10 million to complete.

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