Oprah Winfrey has enjoyed a lengthy and successful career to date. She enjoys spending quality time with her partner Stedman Graham in their Montecito mansion.
Although Oprah has been a success, she has also had hair fair share of hardship. The host recently revealed that she doesn’t actually have that many friends.
There’s a simple explanation why.
Oprah Winfrey appears to be slowing down following her very successful career. She began working as a television journalist, co-anchoring the six o’clock headlines on WJZ-TV. When she was dropped from this she moved on to work at the news desk.
Oprah Winfrey – career
Oprah claims this helped her further down the line.
“I wasn’t a great writer, I wasn’t fast enough,” Oprah explained.
“In the end, I didn’t get fired, but I did get demoted to the talk show … which was seen as a big demotion in those days. And that’s where it all began. So, I thank him. He was inadvertently a guiding light.”
Oprah was hired to host the television show People Are Talking, which ended up becoming a big hit. Eight years later she went on to do a talk show in Chicago called AM Chicago, which was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996.
As a young black woman Oprah was flooded by white males where her presence soon became what can be referred to as a revolution.
The Oprah Winfrey attracted millions of viewers as she interviewed more than 37,000 people on her talk show during the twenty five years it aired.
There was quite literally someone from every walk of life on the show at one point or another. The Michael Jackson interview actually became one of the most-watched interviews in TV history, with more than 90 million people tuning in.
“It was the most exciting interview I had ever done,” Oprah said. “We are coming in the gates of Neverland, and it’s like a moment in The Wizard of Oz. It was literally like going to see the wizard. We couldn’t believe it. I felt like a kid.”
Show ended in 2011
Oprah signed a new contract to continue The Oprah Winfrey Show through the 2010-2011 season. At the time, the show could be seen on more than 200 US stations and in more than 100 countries worldwide.
In 2011, Oprah decided to end her show after her contract expired. “I love this show, this show has been my life, and I love it enough to know when it’s time to say goodbye,” she said. “Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number. It’s the exact right time.”
In total the show won eight Daytime Emmy Awards. In 2011, Oprah herself won the Lifetime Achievement Award plus the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Talkshow Host” four times.
In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Oprah with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Although Oprah has met thousands of people she isn’t quite the friendship magnet you might think she is.
Oprah explained on a podcast that she doesn’t have that many friends as she focuses on a small circle of people, and for a good reason.
Reveals she doesn’t have many friends
“So, I don’t have a lot of friends. Everybody knows Gayle [King]. There’s Gayle, there’s Maria, there’s Bob [Greene]. And that’s, that’s about it, you know? Gayle and Maria I met around the same time and I never really expanded that circle. Until recently, I’ve become friends with a couple of people in my later adult life, in the past five years,” she explained.
Having many friends isn’t that important, but having friends that really care is. When Oprah’s friend Gayle King divorced her husband back in the ’90s, she went on to become what they describe as “the third-wheel” to Stedman and Oprah.
“I’m a proud third wheeler,” Gayle said. “I make no apologies for that. I got divorced back in 1994 and I’ve been their third wheel ever since. The good news is that Stedman is always very welcoming, so it never occurs to me when she says, ‘We’re going to so and so,’ I’m like, ‘When?’
“It doesn’t occur to me that I’m not invited,” she added. “But throughout the years, we’ve gone on some great trips together. And that’s not gonna change.”
Oprah has been together with her partner Stedman Graham for more than 30 years. The pair met at a charity function in 1986.
He even called into The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1987 to surprise her, asking his girlfriend: “I don’t know if you recognize my voice or not?”
Graham proposed to Oprah at her home in Indiana in 1992.
“I want you to marry me,” he told her, “I think it’s time.”
Partner Stedman Graham
The couple were all set to get married the following year, only to decide not to go through with it in the end.
Oprah and Stedman have remained together through all these years but feels they wouldn’t still be a couple if they had gotten married.
“He’s never demanding anything from me like, ‘Where’s my breakfast? Where’s my dinner?’ Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married,” Oprah Winfrey said.
“No question about it — we would not stay married, because of what that would have meant to him, and I would have had my own ideas about it. I have not had one regret about that.”
Oprah has no children, however she does admit having thought about it.
“At one point in Chicago, I had bought an additional apartment because I was thinking, ‘Well, if we get married, I’m going to need room for children,’” Winfrey said.
Oprah Winfrey – children
However something changed her mind while she was busy with The Oprah Winfrey Show, she explained that her time on the show helped her to see that motherhood requires serious responsibility and “sacrifice.”
Oprah holds mothers in the “highest regard” and tries not to look back and wonder about what might have been.
“I realized, ‘Whoa, I’m talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is,’” she explained.
“I don’t have the ability to compartmentalize the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home with their kids, because I don’t know how you do that all day long. Nobody gives women the credit they deserve.”
Many tourists go past celebrity houses in the Hollywood area, looking at the big mansions in Bel Air, Calabasas, or Hollywood Hills. Celebrities – everyone from famous actors to singers and other performers – usually have their property surrounded by big fences and trees, so that people can’t get too close.
Oprah also has that, despite leaving the Hollywood scene a long time ago.
Back in 2001, Winfrey was invited to a party hosted by Robert and Marlene Veloz at their home in Montecito near Santa Barbara, California. The 42-acre property was remarkable. Oprah Winfrey fell in love right away.
Where does Oprah Winfrey live?
She decided she wanted to buy the house despite it not being on the market so she offered the owners almost $52 million dollars.
Montecito is full of huge mansions, and people like Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Bridges, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus all have properties in the area, which features long stretches of a wonderful Pacific Ocean coastline.
Oprah decided to live in Santa Barbara where things are much quieter. There aren’t as many paparazzi besides, and the locals don’t seem to care that a celebrity is standing behind them, ordering coffee or queuing for the toilet.
Oprah has lived in a great community where she’s afforded the privacy she wants.
Oprah renamed her property “The Promised Land”, which isn’t the only biblical reference she’s implemented.
She made room for the 12 apostles on her property that form twelve giant mature oaks which she symbolically named “the Apostles.”
A Tribute to her grandmother
The path down to the trees is called “Hallelujah Lane,” which Oprah has shared images of on her Instagram page.
Oprah planted thousands of white hydrangeas to honor her grandmother as she used to always have one growing on the porch.
Around her estate Oprah also boasts a beautiful vegetable garden, which she harvests herself.
“I can get excited over little things,” Oprah said. “Just the bounty of it, the fact that this just came out of the ground.”