talk-show host, actress
Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi
Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host, actress and producer. Her Oprah Winfrey Show (debut 1986) is the highest-rated talk show in syndication history. Her book-of-the-month feature on the show regularly raises books from obscurity to national bestsellers. She owns a production company, Harpo, and is one of the highest-paid celebrities in the world. She appeared in the film The Color Purple (1985), and was producer and actress in the television movie The Women of Brewster Place (1989) as well as the film of Toni Morrison's Beloved (1998), and has produced a number of television movies. In April 2000 she launched O magazine, which became one of the most successful new magazines in publishing history. In 2003, the Forbes magazine list of American billionaires included Winfrey—the first African-American women to reach billionaire status.