It's the end of an era.
Oprah Winfrey signed off her long-running talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Wednesday in an emotional hour that featured just one guest: Winfrey herself.
Surrounded by 300 audience members and celeb pals like Maria Shriver, Gayle King and Winfrey's longtime beau, Stedman Graham, the host, 57, described her talk show exit as "all sweet, no bitter."
"There are no words to match this moment," Winfrey said in the show's opening moments. "This show has been going on for 4561 days of my life." Later, the host recalled her early days on the Chicago-based series, sans a stylist and publicist. "[I had] just a Jheri Curl and a bad fur coat," she joked.
Clad in a pink/coral-colored dress, Winfrey recalled some of her favorite episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, including a 2008 chat with Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-educated scientist who wrote a book shortly after suffering a stroke. Winfrey also looked back on her proudest Oprah Show moment: The October 2010 episode she hosted where Tyler Perry and 200 other men spoke out about being molested.
As has become tradition with Winfrey, the hour-long "love letter" to fans was not without the host's sage words of wisdom.
"Each one of you has their own platform. Mine is a stage in a studio. Yours is wherever you are," she said. "You can help somebody, you can forgive, you can listen, you can heal — you have the power to change someone's life." And later, "I've spoken to nearly 30,000 people on this show and all 30,000 had one thing in common: A need for validation. Everybody wants to be heard."
To allow her fans to be heard, Winfrey gave out her personal email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and asked viewers to stay in touch.
"Gratitude is the single greatest treasure I will take with me from this experience," Winfrey said, closing the show surrounded by her staff and her beloved cocker spaniel, Sadie. "I thank you for sharing this yellow brick road of blessings. I won't say goodbye — I'll just say, 'Until we meet again.'"
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