OPRAY WINFREY BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29th, 1954 in Kosciuski, Mississippi with the middle name Gail, born to Vernita Lee and Vermon Winfrey. Her mother had her when she was just a teenager and Winfrey's father did not help raise her. Her childhood was filled with financial struggles and her mother left her to be raised by her grandmother, Hatti Mae Lee.
By the age of three her grandmother had already taught her how to read and write and she was very active in church. When she did enroll in school, she was much brighter than many of the other children therefore, her grades excelled and she was able to skip kindergarten and went from first to third grade.
Winfrey spent her whole childhood being shipped back and forth between her grandmother, her biological mother, her biological father and even experienced the tragedy of being raped at the age of nine by her nineteen year old cousin and she again had the same situation occur by a family friend and an uncle.
Due to the lack of a decent upbringing, when she was thirteen years old, Oprah ran away from home and became pregnant when she was only fourteen, however she lost the baby shortly after he was born.
Oprah once again returned home and was sent to Tennessee to live with her biological father. While attending Nashville East High School she became involved with drama and her first break in entertainment came when she was heard rehearsing for a school drama production when a local radio station called, WVOL heard her speak and offered her a chance to read on the radio.
This opportunity followed with a public speaking contest which she won and was then awarded a scholarship to study at Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts.
Prior to earning her degree she was offered a chance to work as a co anchor for a television station which she declined but more offers kept coming and soon she was working in Baltimore, Maryland as a reporter. When she was fired from this job, Oprah did not give up on the world of entertainment, instead she took a job as a talk show host on, "People Are Talking" which she stayed employed with for seven years.
Oprah now knew 100% that she wanted to be on stage, and this was her career choice. She then sent off her audition tapes to a talk show in Chicago called, A.M Chicago which she was not only hired for, but they changed the name to, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1985. She had already made a name for herself becoming the first African American to host a television talk show and the best was yet to come.
The show was highly successful and covered all sorts of topics. At one time it was estimated she had 6.5 billion viewers a day tuning into her show making it the most popular talk show in US history. The show won numerous Awards such as a number of daytime Emmy's. The show had so many fans and was so successful that in 2000, a magazine was started called, "The Oprah Magazine". The show had it's final series air on May 25th 2011.
In addition to the success of her career as the most popular talk show host, Oprah also added to her resume a number of acting credits. In 1985, she debuted in her first film role, "The Color Purple" a role where she portrayed a housewife, Sofia and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. This film was later turned into a Broadway musical.
Soon she added other film credits to her resume as, "Beloved" (1998) which she not only starred in but also served as producer. She even started her own film company, Harpo Productions and released such films as, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" and she added voice over credits for the films, "Charlotte's Web" (2006), "Bee Movie" (2007) and "The Princess and the Frog" (2010).
Along with working as a television host, and actress she appeared on the, "Late Night Show with David Letterman" and is also a published author. In total she co-authored five books and even started an online website, Oprah.com. In 2006, she signed a three year contract with XM Satellite Radio for, Oprah Radio.
She has received numerous honors throughout her career such as being inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York in 1994 and was awarded an Achievement Award in 1998 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2011.
Oprah has also accomplished many other feats throughout her lifetime such as being the first African-American woman to become a billionaire in American History and was named #3 on the annual Forbes magazine Celebrity 100 list in 2006. In 2009 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Duke University. Many magazines and newspapers have said she is not only the most influential woman of her generation but the most influential black person of the previous quarter century. She has made #1 on the list of most powerful women in such magazines as Ladies Home Journal as well as being named on the top of Entertainment Weekly's list of 101 Most Powerful People in the entertainment industry.
It is known to anyone who viewed her talk show that since her early twenties she has maintained a friendship with her best friend, Gayle King. King at one time was the host of, "The Gayle King Show" and editor of, "O, the Oprah Magazine". Many have accused Winfrey and King of being homosexual due to their very public close relationship, however, this is not the case at all.
Oprah has always been a very charitable lady. In 2006, she donated $58,000 to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy as well as Oprah's Angel Network. Due to her childhood experiences with child molestation she feels very strongly about the issue and therefore she created the, "Oprah Child Predator Watch List" through her talk show as well as her website, which assists in catching accused child molesters. Oprah also traveled to South Africa in 2004 and passed out Christmas presents to over 50,000 children in poverty stricken areas. She also invested $40 million to establish the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa. This school has over 450 students and offers the children access to computers, science laboratories, a library and a theater. She even takes time to teach a class to the children via satellite.
She has had a number of relationships but has never married and has no biological living children. In 1986 she began dating, Stedman Graham and they announced their engagement in 1992, however although they never followed through with a ceremony, they remain together.
Oprah Winfrey owns a number of properties such as a palacial estate residence on a 42 acre lot in secluded Montecito, California just outside of Santa Barbara as well as a home in New Jersey, an apartment in Chicago, a house in Florida, Georgia, a ski home in Colorado and homes in Hawaii and Antigua. Oprah Winfrey's famous quote which she has proved so true, "All My life I have always known I was born to greatness".
2013 The Butler
2010 Sesame Street
2009 The Princess and the Frog
2007 Bee Movie
2006 Charlotte's Web
2005 Desperate Housewives: Oprah Winfrey Is the New Neighbour
1999 Our Friend, Martin
1997 Before Women Had Wings
1993 There Are No Children Here
1990 Brewster Place
1989 The Women of Brewster Place
1985-2011 The Oprah Winfrey Show
1986 Native Son
1985 The Color Purple