In any discussion of openly gay celebrities who are helping pioneer the way for others, Ellen DeGeneres' name is bound to come up. Often overshadowed by her spouse's fame though is Ellen's own talented partner Portia de Rossi who also took significant career risks in coming out. That's why I'm so happy to see de Rossi in the new ABC comedy Better Off Ted.
I first took notice of Portia de Rossi in the dearly-departed show Arrested Development although de Rossi had already had significant roles in shows such as Ally McBeal by that time. Personally I think comedy suits de Rossi well. She can deliver a line with a deadpan earnestness that few other actors can match.
If you're not watching Better Off Ted on ABC, you really should be. Portia De Rossi plays Veronica Palmer, a soulless company executive/shill for Veridian Dynamics (and Ted is pretty easy on the eyes too). You can watch the first three episodes online for free. I particularly liked the scenes between Veronica and Ted's daughter in the third episode.
Seriously- set your TiVos to record this show. It's probably one of the best kept secrets on television today.