Through her company's film division, Harpo Films, she has produced projects based on classic and contemporary literature that have garnered the highest industry honors for quality acting and production. Telefilms under the Oprah Winfrey Presents banner have included the award-winning Tuesdays With Morrie, based on the best-selling novel by Mitch Albom and starring Academy AwardÂ-winner Jack Lemmon and Emmy Award-winner Hank Azaria; David and Lisa, an updated version of a 1962 film, re-written for television by Lloyd Kramer and Theodore Isaac Rubin and starring Academy AwardÂ-winner Sidney Poitier; and Their Eyes Were Watching God, based on the Zora Neale Hurston novel and starring Academy AwardÂ-winner Halle Berry.
In 1998, Harpo Films produced the critically acclaimed Beloved, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Toni Morrison, which co-starred Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover and was directed by Jonathan Demme.
Oprah began her broadcasting career at WVOL radio in Nashville while still in high school. At the age of 19, she became the youngest person and the first African-American woman to anchor the news at Nashville's WTVF-TV. She then relocated to Baltimore's WJZ-TV to co-anchor the Six O'Clock News and later went on to become co-host of its local talk show, People Are Talking.
In 1984, she moved to Chicago to host WLS-TV's morning talk show, AM Chicago, which became the number one local talk show-surpassing ratings for Donahue-just one month after she began. 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.
The Oprah Winfrey Show has remained the number one talk show for 20 consecutive seasons. The show is seen by an estimated 48 million viewers a week in the United States and is broadcast internationally in 123 countries.
In April 2000, Oprah and Hearst Magazines introduced O, The Oprah Magazine, a monthly publication that currently has a circulation of 2.3 million readers each month. In April 2002, Oprah launched the first international edition of the magazine in South Africa.
Oprah.com is a premier women's lifestyle website, offering advice on everything from the mind, body and spirit to food, home and relationships. It provides comprehensive resources related and exclusive content based on The Oprah Winfrey Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Oprah & Friends. In addition, the website has unique original content, including Oprah's Book Club, which offers free in-depth reading guides for each book selection, online discussion groups and Q&A sessions with literary experts. Oprah's Book Club quickly became the largest book club in the world, presently attracting more than one million members. In 2003, Oprah.com also launched Live Your Best Life, an interactive multimedia workshop based on her sold-out national speaking tour that features Oprah's personal life stories and life lessons along with a workbook of thought-provoking exercises.
In September 2002, Harpo Productions, Inc. created Dr. Phil, a syndicated daytime talk show produced by Paramount Domestic Television. Dr. Phil consistently ranks second among all U.S. talk shows.
Oprah is also co-founder of Oxygen Media, which operates a 24-hour cable television network for women that launched in 1998 and is currently available in more than 69 million homes across America.
Through a joint venture, Oprah announced the launch in September 2006 of Oprah & Friends, channel 156 on XM Satellite Radio. Oprah & Friends features a broad range of original daily programming from Harpo Radio, Inc., including regular segments hosted by popular personalities from The Oprah Winfrey Show and O, The Oprah Magazine and an exclusive listener call-in weekly radio show, Talk to Me with Oprah Winfrey.
Twenty years after she made her movie debut as Sofia in The Color Purple, Oprah made her Broadway debut as a producer for the musical The Color Purple, which opened on December 1, 2005 at the Broadway Theatre in New York City.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Oprah Winfrey Facts
|Oprah Gail Winfrey
|TV Host, Actress, Producer
|January 29, 1954 (70)
|Kosciusko, Michigan, USA
|5' 7" (1m70) How tall is Oprah Winfrey compared to you?
|2002 Emmy Awards: Bob Hope Humanitarian Award
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