Ellen's Mom Okays New Pal

10/22/1997 at 12:00 AM EDT

Betty DeGeneres, 68, mother of Ellen DeGeneres, 42, not only confirmed that the comic is now dating actress Alexandra Hedison, but she heartily approves of her daughter's new companion. "I've met her a couple of times, and she is a lovely, lovely person," Betty DeGeneres told the New York Post. "She has a sense of humor, which Ellen can certainly appreciate." Hedison, 31, starred in TV's "L.A. Firefighters." Before her, Ellen was with actress Anne Heche. "As a mother," added the elder DeGeneres, who serves as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Project, "I'm just happy to see my child happy."

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