Portia De Rossi says she has quit acting

Australian actor Portia de Rossi has announced she has quit acting in order to start her own business.

The former actress and model appeared alongside her wife Ellen DeGeneres on American television to make the shock announcement.

Portia de Rossi, right, pictured with her wife Ellen DeGeneres.

After announcing her new career direction, de Rossi was presented with a farewell gift from the Arrested Development team: a $US50,000 cheque. The money will go towards DeGeneres's African charity that aims to save endangered gorillas.

"What it means is they want you to do season six," DeGeneres joked.

"I'm yours," de Rossi said. "Once a Bluth, always a Bluth."

The former actor will now focus her time and energy on a startup that reproduces paintings using 3D printing technology. She says her company will allow people to buy quality art for a reasonable price without resorting to a flat, poster version.

De Rossi has always been an intensely private person who prefers to shun the Hollywood spotlight. In 2003, she told Fairfax Media she doesn't like doing interviews because she hates her personal life being scrutinised.

"It sounds so trite, but my private life is mine," she said. "When you have the paparazzi hiding in the bushes outside your home, about the only thing you can control is how you respond publicly. When I hear celebrities talking about their marriages or other things that are intensely personal, I cringe. I just think, 'Keep it to yourself.' It's like desperate attention-seeking."

Arrested Development season five will air on Netflix later this year.

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