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Winfrey produced and hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show from 1986 to 2011, with the syndicated series still the highest rated US daytime talk show ever.
Speaking at Variety’s Power of Women dinner on Wednesday (28 September), Winfrey revealed one powerful message she took away from the process.
“We are all looking for the same thing,” Winfrey said.
“This is the one lesson I came away from doing The Oprah Winfrey Show. The common denominator of our experiences is that we all want to know that we matter and we want a show that reflects our values.”
Winfrey also recalled a conversation she had with the late writer Maya Angelou about learning to accept that people can’t control their own legacies.
“When I came back from opening my school, I was sitting with Maya Angelou and I said, ‘Maya, oh my god, you should have been there for the opening of the school because that school is going to be my greatest legacy.’
“She said, ‘You have no idea what your legacy is going to be.’ I said, ‘Oh no, I think it’s really gonna be those girls.’ And she said, ‘I said, ‘You have no idea what your legacy is going to be because your legacy is never one thing. Your legacy is every life you touch.’”
The comments come as Shania Twain opened up in a new interview about a “memorable dinner” she once had with Winfrey that quickly “went sour” when the topic turned to religion.
“You know how everyone always says never talk about politics or religion?” Twain said. “It just wasn’t debatable. There was no room for debate.”