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Ellen DeGeneres to wed after gay marriage ruling

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres plans to marry her long-time partner, actress Portia de Rossi, after a California court ruling allowing gay marriage.

“I am announcing I am getting married,” DeGeneres, 50, told the audience during the taping of her “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Thursday. The show was due to be broadcast on Friday.

To wild cheers and a standing ovation, DeGeneres said she was very excited at Thursday’s ruling by the California Supreme Court overturning a state ban on gay marriage.

“Thank you. I’ll tell you who the lucky guy is soon,” she joked.

DeGeneres did not mention de Rossi, 35, but pictures showed the former “Ally McBeal” actress in the audience, smiling and applauding.

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“It is something of course that we have wanted to do and we wanted to be legal, and we are just very, very excited,” DeGeneres said.

DeGeneres and de Rossi have been a familiar couple in Hollywood for about four years, appearing at red carpet events together. DeGeneres previously had a relationship with actress Anne Heche.

DeGeneres made broadcast history in 1997 when her TV alter ego came out of the closet on her ABC sitcom “Ellen,” becoming the first openly gay lead character on U.S. prime-time network television.

A short time later, DeGeneres and Heche went public with their real real-life love affair, instantly becoming America’s most prominent lesbian couple. They broke up three years later.