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The Women Of Brewster Place... Oprah Winfrey produced and stars in this mini-series event as Mattie Michael,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Finding Oprah's Roots - Finding Your Own... From the roots to the branches, all components of the family tree are equally... more info $24.99was $24.99 Buy Now

The Color Purple DVD Nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Picture, Steven Spielberg's... more info $6.99was $14.98 Buy Now

Emmanuel's Gift DVD An African nation is inspired by the strength and courage of one disabled boy... more info $7.99was $7.99 Buy Now

Beloved DVD Sometimes the ghosts from your past are literally ghosts, as in "Beloved"... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Beloved / Their Eyes Were Watching God... Journey through America's lost history with two productions from Oprah Winfrey.... more info $6.25was $6.25 Buy Now



Also Known As: Oprah Gail Winfrey Died:
Born: January 29, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA Profession: talk show host, actor, producer, anchorperson, reporter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A one-woman multi-media empire simultaneously embraced as a relatable "friend" figure by millions of loyal fans, Oprah Winfrey's business acumen and personal accessibility made her one of the most powerful and beloved figures in America. Winfrey's daytime television staple "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (syndicated, 1986-) was the number one daytime talk show for over 20 years, and positioned Winfrey as a powerful, inspiring, voice unafraid to be candid about her own personal hurdles to encourage women to rise above setbacks and reach their own potential. Winfrey's heartfelt agenda spilled over into her film career; both as a producer of inspirational stories of women courageously rising from adversity, and with her own Academy Award-nominated performance in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" (1985). Through her many philanthropic efforts, including Oprah's Angel Network and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Winfrey generated millions of dollars to improve the lives of women, children and minorities. Meanwhile, the cultural tastemaker's stamp of approval or disapproval could turn the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden into a bestseller or elicit fear from the...

A one-woman multi-media empire simultaneously embraced as a relatable "friend" figure by millions of loyal fans, Oprah Winfrey's business acumen and personal accessibility made her one of the most powerful and beloved figures in America. Winfrey's daytime television staple "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (syndicated, 1986-) was the number one daytime talk show for over 20 years, and positioned Winfrey as a powerful, inspiring, voice unafraid to be candid about her own personal hurdles to encourage women to rise above setbacks and reach their own potential. Winfrey's heartfelt agenda spilled over into her film career; both as a producer of inspirational stories of women courageously rising from adversity, and with her own Academy Award-nominated performance in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" (1985). Through her many philanthropic efforts, including Oprah's Angel Network and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Winfrey generated millions of dollars to improve the lives of women, children and minorities. Meanwhile, the cultural tastemaker's stamp of approval or disapproval could turn the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden into a bestseller or elicit fear from the critiqued beef industry. Exposure on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" helped launch the careers of several lucky recipients, including counselor Dr. Phil McGraw, financial guru Suze Orman and no-frills chef Rachael Ray. With Winfrey's O: The Oprah Magazine, her television and film production studios, her multiple Emmys and NAACP Image Awards, she expanded commonly held notions of how far both women and African-Americans could go in the entertainment arena, and was deemed one of the most influential women in the world.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Selma (2014)
3.
 Decoding Deepak (2012)
4.
6.
8.
 Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
9.
 Bee Movie (2007)
10.
 Charlotte's Web (2006) Cast
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised on grandmother's farm in Mississippi
1960:
Moved to Milwaukee to live with her mother at age six
:
Went to live with father in Nashville, TN where she became an honor student and joined drama club
1971:
Crowned Miss Fire Prevention in Nashville at age 17
1971:
Won Miss Black Tennesee pageant
1971:
Competed in Miss Black America pageant
1972:
Started as radio reporter while still a Nashville high school student
1973:
At age 19, became the first black anchor on Nashville's WVOL nightly newscast; later moved to the CBS affiliate WTFV-TV (1975)
1976:
Moved to Baltimore; worked as TV feature reporter and co-anchor for WJZ-TV
1978:
Co-hosted morning talk show "People Are Talking"
1984:
Moved to Chicago; hosted own half-hour TV show "AM Chicago"
1985:
"AM Chicago" expanded to one hour and renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
1985:
Breakthrough acting debut, "The Color Purple"; earned Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination
1986:
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" picked up for national syndication; premiered in syndication on September 8
1987:
Hosted first TV special "A Star-Spangled Celebration"
1986:
Landed second film role as Mrs. Thomas, the mother of an accused murderer in "Native Son"
1988:
Assumed ownership and production of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" through Harpo Productions
1989:
Executive produced and acted in the TV movie "Women of Brewster Place" (ABC)
1990:
Executive produced and acted on the short-lived ABC spin-off series "Brewster Place"
1993:
Executive produced "Michael Jackson Talks...To Oprah ¿ 90 Primetime Minutes With the King of Pop" (ABC)
1993:
Portrayed LaJoe Rivers in "There Are No Children Here" (ABC)
1994:
Finished a marathon (26.2 miles) alongside trainer Bob Greene
1995:
Renewed contract with King World to continue hosting talk show through 1997; signed deal with Capital Cities/ABC Inc to provide primetime programming beginning in the 1996-97 TV season; signed multi-picture deal with Walt Disney Company and announced first feature would be an adaptation of Toni Morrison's "Beloved"
1996:
Began regular segment "Oprah's Book Club"
1997:
Appeared as a therapist on the celebrated "coming out" episode of "Ellen" (ABC)
1997:
Renewed contract with King World to continue talk show through the year 2000
1998:
Stayed in Amarillo, TX for six weeks, defending herself in $10 million libel suit brought by a group of cattlemen over some offhand remarks uttered on her talk show; she won in a victory for the First Amendment
1998:
Executive produced the ABC miniseries "The Wedding," adapted from the novel by Dorothy West
1998:
At start of 13th season on TV, introduced "change your life television" featuring numerous guests culled from the ranks of self-help authors; also debuted a new theme to show "Run On," which she sang lead vocals; also began Oprah's Angel Network
1998:
Signed contract to host TV talk show through the 2001-02 season
1998:
Served as executive producer of the ABC remake of "David and Lisa"
1998:
Starred in and produced an adaptation of Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved"
1998:
In November, joined with Geraldine Laybourne (of Oxygen Media) and Marcy Carsey (of Carsey-Werner-Mandabach) in announcing plans to create Oxygen, a new cable channel aimed specifically at women
1999:
In July, announced joint venture with Hearst Magazines to publish new magazine aimed at women and covering spiritual issues
1999:
Executive produced the highly-rated TV-movie "Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays With Morrie" (ABC); won Emmy as Outstanding Made for Television Movie
2000:
Began honoring everyday heroes on her talk show via the "Use Your Life" award
2000:
Launched the magazine <i>O, The Oprah Magazine</i> (April)
2001:
Executive produced another popular TV movie "Amy & Isabelle" (ABC)
2002:
In March, signed deal to remain with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" through the 2005-06 season
2003:
Made <i>Forbes</i> magazine's Billionaire's list, the first black woman to do so and only the second African-American billionaire (after BET founder Robert Johnson) with a reported net worth of $1 billion
2005:
Produced and invested more than $1 million in the Broadway musical adaptation "Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple"; the show earned 11 Tony nominations
2006:
Signed a three-year, $55 million deal to debut a new XM Satellite Radio channel titled "Oprah & Friends"; channel aired programming related to fitness, health, and self-improvement
2006:
Signed on with Simon & Schuster to pen a book about weight control, reportedly receiving more than $12 million
2006:
Voiced Gussy the goose in live-action/computer-animated feature film "Charlotte's Web"
2007:
Invested $40 million and much of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg in South Africa (opened in January)
2007:
Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced plans to create OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
2007:
Voiced Judge Bumbleden in "Bee Movie," co-starring the voices of Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger
2009:
Teamed with Tyler Perry to produce the drama "Precious," a movie based on the novel <i>Push</i> by Sapphire
2009:
Announced plans to end highly rated "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011 after 25 years
2009:
Voiced the title character's mother Eudora in Disney animated feature "The Princess and the Frog"
2011:
Launched OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network; programming included "Oprah's Next Chapter" and "Oprah Presents: Master Class"
2011:
Received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Tennessee State University: Nashville , Tennessee -
Tennessee State University: Nashville , Tennessee -
Tennessee State University: Nashville , Tennessee -
East Nashville High School: Nashville , Tennessee - 1971

Notes

The name Oprah is an accidental misspelling of the Biblical character Orpah.

Her website address is www.oprah.com

Received a honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Morehouse College in 1989.

She is partial owner of the Granite Broadcasting Coporation (1991).

In June 1997, Winfrey took the unusual step of issuing a statement denying rumors that she was gay. The rumors began when syndicated columnist Liz Smith wrote a blind item about one of the biggest and longest-running TV stars, "an icon and role model" who was contemplating revealing his or her homosexuality (as Ellen DeGeneres had). Many thought the item referred to Oprah Winfrey and the TV talk show host felt she needed to address the issue, particularly as, in her words, "legitimate" news organizations were approaching her for comment.

"I'm glad I was raised in Mississippi at a time when being colored and female meant [low] expectations. Now I'm grateful for my days of emptying slop jars, hauling water from the well and going to the outhouse and thinking I was going to fall in. It makes walking through the house with the many bathrooms and marble floors and great view that much better."

"I was never in a relationship with anybody who hit me, but I remember a relationship in my 20s where he left and said he wasn't coming back, and I was on the floor crying and pleading. I thought, 'I'm no different from a battered woman.' I kept a journal at the time, and not too long ago, [after] reading it, I sat in my closet and wept for the woman I used to be."---Oprah Winfrey to USA Today, May 15, 1997.

"We brought Oprah in and we booked two very difficult segments. You'd really have to have some moxie to handle these guests. I had the feed piped into my office. I'm watching this and I'm thinking, 'Holy smokes, I can't be this lucky. She's just a natural television performer."

"Oprah can ask questions that other people ask and get their face slapped. There's also a vulnerability about Oprah. She was a black female in what was at the time a white male dominated business. She was overweight. She wasn't famous."---Dennis Swanson, who hired Winfrey to host a morning show for Chicago's WLS-TV quoted in Daily News, January 28, 1998.

" ... all I can tell her is to keep on doin' what you're doin'. Use the word through the years, keep your nose clean, that's stayin' out of trouble, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Once you've done your part of treating people the way you would like to be treated, you feel good within yourself. You can look at yourself in the mirror."---Vernon Winfrey on the advice he would give his daughter, Oprah.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Stedman Graham. Former basketball player, public relations executive. Together since 1986; announced engagement in November 1992.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Vernon Winfrey. Barber, businessman, city council member. Never married to Winfrey's mother.
mother:
Vernita Lee. Never married to Winfrey's father.
step-mother:
Zelma Winfrey. Died in 1996.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Make the Connection"
"Journey to Beloved" Hyperion

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