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DeGeneres Says She and Heche Are Quitting Hollywood

Company Town

December 01, 1998|HILARY DE VRIES | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Ellen DeGeneres said on Monday that she is quitting Hollywood.

The former star of ABC's "Ellen"--the first sitcom with a gay lead character whose coming out made television history--told The Times that she and partner Anne Heche, who co-stars in the remake of "Psycho" opening Friday, "want to take at least a year off."

"We've quit our agents, let go of our publicist, we're selling our house and leaving town," DeGeneres said.

DeGeneres made the announcement a day after the couple's first joint interview appeared in The Times Sunday Magazine. In it they talked about Hollywood's chilly reception to their controversial relationship.

"We were naive," said DeGeneres, who had begun to move into feature films after the cancellation of her 4-year-old series last year.

The 40-year-old star, whose first film, "Mr. Wrong," was a critical and box office failure, appears in three upcoming films, including Warner's "Goodbye Lover."

DeGeneres also was in development on a new TV series and was to star in an HBO comedy special next spring, projects she said she has now canceled.

"I know everyone is going to say that our leaving is just another bid for attention," said DeGeneres, who suggested the couple may relocate to Ojai or San Francisco. "But what we've found is that this is a very hard town to be truthful in."

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