Ellen DeGeneres will host the 79th Annual Academy Awards for the first time this February, the Motion Picture Academy has announced. "When (Oscars producer) Laura Ziskin called, I was thrilled," DeGeneres said in a released statement. "There's two things I've always wanted to do in my life. One is to host the Oscars. The second is to get a call from Laura Ziskin. You can imagine that day's diary entry."
Past Oscar hosts include Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart.
DeGeneres has honed her hosting duties with past gigs emceeing the Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2005. Her morning chat show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has won three Emmy awards for Outstanding Talk Show. Her sitcom Ellen aired from 1994 to 1998 and won her a Peabody Award for writing an episode in which her character disclosed that she was gay. "Ellen DeGeneres was born to host the Academy Awards," Ziskin said in a statement. "There is no more challenging hosting job in show business. It requires someone who can keep the show alive and fresh and moving, as well as someone who is a flat-out great entertainer. Ellen completely fits the bill." The79th Annual Academy Awards will broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 25, 2007.
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