Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist.
She is best known for her multi award willing talk show, The Oprah Winfrey show.
She started at Nashville’s WLAV-TV and in so doing became the youngest news anchor at the station. In 1976, she moved to Baltimore’s WJZ-TV to co-anchor the six o’clock news.
In January 1984, Winfrey moved to Chicago to host “A.M. Chicago” for WLS-TV. In less than a year, the show expanded to one hour and was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. It entered national syndication in 1986, becoming the highest-rated talk show in television history. In 1988, she established Harpo Studios, a production facility in Chicago, making her the third woman in the American entertainment industry (after Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball) to own her own studio.
A year later, The Oprah Winfrey Show was broadcast nationally, and quickly became the number one talk show in national syndication. In 1987, its first year of eligibility, the show received three Daytime Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Host, Outstanding Talk/Service Program and Outstanding Direction. The following year, the show received its second consecutive Emmy as Outstanding Talk/Service Program, and Oprah herself received the International Radio and Television Society’s “Broadcaster of the Year” Award. She was the youngest person ever to receive the honor.
Oprah made her acting debut in 1985, when she starred in Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’. Her performance in the film earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and nominations for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
er love of acting and her desire to bring quality entertainment projects into production prompted her to form her own production company, Harpo Productions, Inc., in 1986. Today, Harpo is a formidable force in film and television production, as well as magazine publishing and the Internet. In 1988, Harpo Productions, Inc. acquired ownership and all production responsibilities for The Oprah Winfrey Show from Capitol Cities/ABC, making Oprah Winfrey the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show.
Oprah Winfrey’s business interests have extended well beyond her own production company. She is one of the partners in Oxygen Media, Inc., a cable channel and interactive network presenting programming designed primarily for women. With her success, she has also become one of the world’s most generous philanthropists. In 2000, Oprah’s Angel Network began presenting a $100,000 “Use Your Life Award” to people who are using their own lives to improve the lives of others. She now publishes two magazines, O, The Oprah Magazine, and O at Home. The launch of her first magazine was the most successful start-up in the history of the industry. When Forbes published its list of America’s billionaires for the year 2003, it disclosed that Oprah Winfrey was the first African-American woman to become a billionaire.
In a 2010 interview on the Larry King program at the end of that year, she announced her decision to end her run on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The final broadcast took place on May 25, 2011, after 24 seasons and over 5,000 broadcasts. The end of the syndicated program was not the end of Oprah Winfrey’s broadcasting career. She now hosts a nightly program, Oprah’s Lifeclass, on the Oprah Winfrey Network.