Jane Lynch admitted she was gay because of Ellen Degeneres.

The 'Glee' actress - who married her psychologist partner Lara Embry earlier this year - admitted she often wondered if she would ever come out and finally did so because of Ellen who became one of television's first openly-gay personalities in 1997.

She told Ellen: "You were at the height of your fame and you came out. And that just blazed a trail for me. It really did. It made it so much easier for me what you did. I say it all the time - I'm not as courageous as it seems.

"By the time I started to do work where people knew who I was, I just never made the choice to hide that I was gay. By the time you get to be our age, Ellen, there are no big deals anymore."

However Jane - who plays scheming cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester in the hit musical TV show- think it was easier for her to come out because she wasn't a major star.

She said: "It's because I'm a character actor, I think. If Julia Roberts were gay, I think it would be harder. She's an ingenue."