Ellen DeGeneres savoring success of her show

Ellen DeGeneres actually thought her career was over.

She became a hero to gays in 1997, following the most highly publicized coming out in modern history. But she soon lost her NBC sitcom "Ellen," and her girlfriend, actress Anne Heche, who has since married and given birth to a son. A second sitcom, "The Ellen Show" came and went in 2001.

But since the September premiere of her syndicated talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," on NBC, DeGeneres has become a hot commodity and the show's ratings continue to climb.

"Now it seems like everything is so flattering and positive. I'm savoring this," DeGeneres told The New York Times in Sunday's editions.

Guests on her show have included Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane Keaton, and DeGeneres, 45, is an expert at getting to the heart of things in a playful and good-natured manner.

"It's interesting, you try to plan every step when you have a career," she said. But, she added, "There's not controlling it. To think that we're ever controlling anything is just ridiculous."

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