A cultural icon who has been the voice and conscience of America for the larger part of the past three decades or so, Oprah Winfrey is a television host, actress, producer, billionaire, media tycoon and philanthropist. Born in Mississippi in 1954, she rose from her humble beginnings to co-host the hit talk show People Are Talking, which announced her arrival in the world of showbiz in the late 1970s. Subsequently, Oprah began hosting her own morning show - A.M. Chicago; the popularity of which eventually led to her first film role in Steven Spielberg's period drama The Colour Purple (1985). Her performance in the acclaimed film earned Oprah an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role that year.
The watershed year in Oprah's career was 1986, when she launched a nationally syndicated tabloid talk show named The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show. In the course of its 25-year run between 1986 and 2011, the show won several awards, set records in terms of viewership numbers and most of all, had far-reaching social and cultural impact. Words like "Oprahfication" and "The Oprah Effect" became part of everyday language, while popular segments in the show like Oprah's Book Club defined the reading habits of an entire nation. In 2009, after decades of entertaining millions and championing the causes of the underprivileged and marginalized, Oprah announced that the 25th season would be the show's finale.
Following the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the celebrated TV host launched her own network, called the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The Oscar nominee has made a comeback to acting in the recent years, and her notable film credits include the historical drama The Butler (2013), Selma (2014) and the sci-fi fantasy adventure A Wrinkle in Time (2018). For her great contributions to the artistic, social and cultural milieu of the USA, Oprah was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.