Los Angeles - Ellen DeGeneres says getting the role of Dory in Finding Nemo helped her through her "lowest point".
While the 57-year-old star is now happily married to Portia de Rossi and has a successful daytime talk show, she admitted that after her sitcom The Ellen Show was cancelled in 2002 she struggled to find work.
However, being offered the role of Dory proved to be her salvation.
She told Entertainment Tonight: "I hadn't worked at all. People don't know that, because it took three years to do Finding Nemo. In the time that The Ellen Show was cancelled, while I was doing nothing, writer/director Andrew Stanton had heard my voice on TV and how rambling I was and how I never stayed on topic, and he wrote Dory with me in mind.
"By the time Nemo was coming out, I had just gotten The Ellen DeGeneres Show, but during that time nothing had happened. So Dory's motto: 'just keep swimming' certainly applies to me and to a lot of people out there."
Ellen - who is starring in the sequel Finding Dory - also admitted she was angry that her first sitcom Ellen was cancelled after she revealed her sexuality.
She said: "Of course I was angry at the time, because I wanted the support. I knew that I could possibly lose my show. I didn't know how many people there were out there that were struggling. I'm suddenly hearing from people that were considering suicide, and that I did do a lot for them and help them."
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