Portia de Rossi, the 45-year-old Hollywood star made a surprise appearance on Ellen DeGeneres‘ talk show this week to mark her wife’s birthday milestone and honor her with a very special gift.
“It’s your 60th birthday,” de Rossi said, as she made her way onto the set. “This gift had to be really special, and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about — not just now — but what you’ve always cared about.”
“So, I combined that with the fact that literally guys, for like the last two years, Ellen has said to me, ‘I feel like I’m not doing enough.’ Every day, almost. So, I put all that together and I got you this gift.”
De Rossi then played a recorded birthday message that highlighted DeGeneres’ hero, Dian Fossey, an American scientist who studied gorillas in Africa. Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda to observe and protect mountain gorillas.
The campus will be the first initiative of The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, a foundation de Rossi set up in her wife’s name.
An emotional DeGeneres wiped away tears after the announcement.
“It’s the best gift,” DeGeneres said. “When we got married, Portia’s line was, ‘It’s good to be loved. It’s profound to be understood.’ And she understands me because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me.”
Check out the tear-filled moment below.
Though she was murdered in 1985, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund continues her work. And now, thanks to de Rossi, the fund will have an Ellen DeGeneres Campus.
“So, for your birthday, Ellen, I am bringing you and your hero Dian together by building the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund,” de Rossi said. “Ellen, you will carry on Dian’s legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda.”
“Now, you will join Dian as a protector and champion of these amazing animals, the mountain gorillas,” de Rossi added. “Happy birthday.”
A moving gift isn’t?