Winfrey, Oprah

born Jan. 29, 1954, Kosciusko, Miss., U.S.

U.S. television talk-show host and actress.

After enduring an impoverished and troubled childhood, she became a news anchor for a local CBS television station in Tennessee at age 19. After graduating from Tennessee State University, she worked as a television reporter and anchor in Baltimore, Md., where she cohosted her first talk show (1977–83), and moved to Chicago to host A.M. Chicago (1984), which became that city's highest-rated morning show. The renamed Oprah Winfrey Show was syndicated in 1986, making her the first African American woman to host a successful national daytime talk show. Initially sensationalist, the enormously popular show gradually took on an uplifting and therapeutic tone. In 1986 she also formed her own television production company, Harpo Productions. In 1996 she introduced "Oprah's Book Club" to foster reading by endorsing certain books. She appeared in the movies The Color Purple (1985) and Beloved (1998).

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▪ American television personality, actress, and entrepreneur
born January 29, 1954, Kosciusko, Mississippi, U.S.
 
 American television personality, actress, and entrepreneur whose syndicated daily talk show was among the most popular of the genre. She became one of the richest and most influential women in the United States.

      Winfrey moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at age six to live with her mother. In her early teens she was sent to Nashville, Tennessee, to live with her father, who proved to be a positive influence in her life.

      At age 19, Winfrey became a news anchor for the local CBS television station. Following her graduation from Tennessee State University in 1976, she was made a reporter and coanchor for the ABC news affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland. She found herself constrained by the objectivity required of news reporting, and in 1977 she became cohost of the Baltimore morning show People Are Talking. Winfrey excelled in the casual and personal talk-show format, and in 1984 she moved to Chicago to host the faltering talk show AM Chicago. Winfrey's honest and engaging personality quickly turned the program into a success, and in 1985 it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. Syndicated nationally in 1986, the program became the highest-rated television talk show in America and earned several Emmy Awards.

  In 1985 Winfrey appeared in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker (Walker, Alice)'s 1982 novel The Color Purple. Her critically acclaimed performance led to other roles, including a performance in the television miniseries The Women of Brewster Place (1989). Winfrey formed her own television production company, Harpo Productions, Inc., in 1986, and a film production company, Harpo Films, in 1990. The companies began buying film rights to literary works, including Connie May Fowler's Before Women Had Wings, which appeared in 1997 with Winfrey as both star and producer, and Toni Morrison (Morrison, Toni)'s Beloved, which appeared in 1998, also with Winfrey in a starring role. In 1998 Winfrey expanded her media entertainment empire when she cofounded Oxygen Media, which operates a cable television network for women. She brokered a partnership with Discovery Communications in 2008, through which the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) was scheduled to replace the Discovery Health Channel in 2009.

 Winfrey has engaged in numerous philanthropic activities, including the creation of Oprah's Angel Network, which sponsors charitable initiatives worldwide. In 2007 she opened a $40-million school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa. She is an outspoken crusader against child abuse and has received many honours and awards from civic, philanthropic, and entertainment organizations.

   Winfrey broke new ground in 1996 by starting an on-air book club. She announced selections two to four weeks in advance and then discussed the book on her show with a select group of people. Each book chosen quickly rose to the top of the best-seller charts, and Winfrey's effect on the publishing industry was significant. Winfrey further expanded her presence in the publishing industry with the highly successful launch of O, the Oprah Magazine in 2000 and with O at Home, launched in 2004. In 2006 the Oprah & Friends channel debuted on satellite radio.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Winfrey,Oprah — Win·frey (wĭnʹfrē), Oprah. Born 1954. American talk show host, producer, and actress. Producer and host of The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986 present), Winfrey has also acted in films such as The Color Purple (1985) and Beloved (1998). * * * …   Universalium

  • Winfrey, Oprah — (n. 29 ene. 1954, Kosciusko, Miss., EE.UU.). Actriz y anfitriona de programas de conversación estadounidense. Después de sobrellevar una empobrecida y agitada infancia, logró un puesto como conductora del noticiario de un canal local de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Oprah — Winfrey Oprah Gail Winfrey (* 29. Januar 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA) ist eine Talkshow Moderatorin und Unternehmerin. Sie ist bekannt für The Oprah Winfrey Show, die bei weitem erfolgreichste Talkshow des amerikanischen Fernsehens. 2006… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Oprah's Book Club — Oprah’s Book Club ist ein von der US amerikanischen Moderatorin Oprah Winfrey gegründer Buchclub. Oprah Winfrey nutzt ihre Popularität und ihre Sendungen, um Bücher vorzustellen. Dies führt in der Regel zu einem starken Anstieg der Verkaufszahlen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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