He is the son of William H. Gates' maternal grandfather was J.
She later said that her conception was due to a single sexual encounter and the couple broke up not long after. Winfrey's biological father is usually noted as Vernon Winfrey born c. However, the East Asian markers may, given the imprecision of genetic testing, actually be Native American.
When Winfrey was a child, her grandmother would hit her with a stick when she did not do chores or if she misbehaved in any way.
She began to steal money from her mother in an effort to keep up with her free-spending peers, to lie to and argue with her mother, and to go out with older boys. Vernon was strict but encouraging, and made her education a priority. Winfrey became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, and joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High Schoolplacing second in the nation in dramatic interpretation.
Her first job as a teenager was working at a local grocery store. Winfrey's career choice in media would not have surprised her grandmother, who once said that ever since Winfrey could talk, she was on stage.
As a child, she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family's property. Winfrey later acknowledged her grandmother's influence, saying it was Hattie Mae who had encouraged her to speak in public and "gave me a positive sense of myself".
Inshe was removed as co-anchor and worked lower profile positions at the station. She also hosted the local version of Dialing for Dollars. The first episode aired on January 2, Within months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to overtaking Donahue as the highest-rated talk show in Chicago.
The movie critic Roger Ebert persuaded her to sign a syndication deal with King World.
Ebert predicted that she would generate 40 times as much revenue as his television show, At the Movies. Their much-publicized contest was the subject of enormous scrutiny. In a field dominated by white males, she is a black female of ample bulk.
As interviewers go, she is no match for, say, Phil Donahue What she lacks in journalistic toughness, she makes up for in plainspoken curiosity, robust humor and, above all empathy.
Guests with sad stories to tell are apt to rouse a tear in Oprah's eye They, in turn, often find themselves revealing things they would not imagine telling anyone, much less a national TV audience.
It is the talk show as a group therapy session. And she may know the way to Phil Donahue's jugular. In the mids, Winfrey adopted a less tabloid-oriented format, hosting shows on broader topics such as heart disease, geopolitics, spirituality, and meditation, interviewing celebrities on social issues they were directly involved with, such as cancer, charity work, or substance abuse, and hosting televised giveaways including shows where every audience member received a new car donated by General Motors or a trip to Australia donated by Australian tourism bodies.
As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women's cable television network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions Oprah spelled backwards. It was scheduled to launch in but was delayed, and actually launched on January 1, The episode was hailed by some as the "television event of the decade" and helped Letterman attract his largest audience in more than 11 years: In an interview with GQ magazine, Ludacris said that Winfrey gave him a "hard time" about his lyrics, and edited comments he made during an appearance on her show with the cast of the film Crash.
He also said that he wasn't initially invited on the show with the rest of the cast. She said she spoke with Ludacris backstage after his appearance to explain her position and said she understood that his music was for entertainment purposes, but that some of his listeners might take it literally.
She said that after she made public her support for Obama, she decided that she would not let her show be used as a platform for any of the candidates. Winfrey added that Palin would make a fantastic guest and that she would love to have her on the show after the election, which she did on November 18, The Alice Walker novel went on to become a Broadway musical which opened in latewith Winfrey credited as a producer.
In OctoberWinfrey produced and starred in the film Belovedbased on Toni Morrison 's Pulitzer Prize -winning novel of the same name. To prepare for her role as Sethe, the protagonist and former slave, Winfrey experienced a hour simulation of the experience of slavery, which included being tied up and blindfolded and left alone in the woods.
While promoting the movie, co-star Thandie Newton described Winfrey as "a very strong technical actress and it's because she's so smart. She's got a mind like a razor blade. In lateWinfrey's company Harpo Films signed an exclusive output pact to develop and produce scripted series, documentaries, and movies for HBO.
InWinfrey starred as Mrs. At the announcement of a weight-loss book inco-authored with her personal trainer Bob Greene, it was said that her undisclosed advance fee had broken the record for the world's highest book advance fee, previously held by the autobiography of former U.
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