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Ellen DeGeneres Called to Oscar Duty

Ellen DeGeneres Called to Oscar Duty
Ellen DeGeneres
Steve Granitz/Wireimage

09/07/2006 AT 08:00 PM EDT

Ellen DeGeneres will host February's Oscars ceremony, her first time ever emceeing the telecast, the Motion Picture Academy has announced.

"When (Oscars producer) Laura Ziskin called, I was thrilled," DeGeneres said in a 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."

The 79th annual Academy Awards air live on ABC on Feb. 25, 2007, from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

DeGeneres's ability to host an awards show with grace and humor was displayed when she emceed the Emmy ceremony in the wake of 9/11. She'd previously co-hosted the show in 1994 and went on to host again in 2005.

This will be her first appearance at the Oscars, though she's a familiar figure at the Emmys – her sitcom, Ellen, won a best writing award in 1997 and her talk show, launched in 2003, has racked up a total of 15 statuettes, including best talk show honors in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and best talk show host Emmys this year and last.

She's also got several movie credits on her résumé, including Finding Nemo (as the voice of Dory), EdTV and the 1996 star vehicle Mr. Wrong.

"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."

DeGeneres follows in the footsteps of previous Oscar hosts including Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and this year's emcee, Jon Stewart.
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