Oprah Winfrey will be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which celebrates one individual each year for his or her "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment," during the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, 2018. To mark the occasion, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at why we worship at the altar of O. Keep reading for 12 reasons why we're totally obsessed with Oprah…
No. 12: She's a talented actress
Acting is hardly Oprah Winfrey's first-choice gig, and yet she scored an Oscar nomination for her acting debut in 1985's "The Color Purple." Since then, she'd had roles in lauded films like "Beloved," "The Butler" and "Selma." And in 2018, she'll appear as Mrs. Which in the eagerly anticipated big-screen adaptation of "A Wrinkle in Time."
No. 11: She's super-smart
Oprah Winfrey's success is no coincidence. She's plenty ambitious, but it also helps that she's super-smart. The media mogul, who was also a beauty queen during her teen years, earned a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, though she dropped out just shy of graduation to launch her career as a news anchor. She finally obtained her degree in 1986, a full decade after she left school. (More than three decades later, in 2017, O earned an honorary degree from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.)
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No. 10: She's a hardcore philanthropist
Oprah Winfrey isn't just generous to members of her studio audience. (You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!) She's also a major philanthropist. O has donated millions to various charities through her eponymous foundation over the years.
No. 9: She's an amazing boss
Back in 2005, Oprah Winfrey took her staff on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Hawaii. When she turned 55 in 2009, the media mogul celebrated by hosting all 1,700 of her employees (and their families!) for a three-day party in Barcelona followed by a 10-day Mediterranean cruise. The following year, she gifted iPads and checks for $10K to every single employee of her O magazine. Best boss EVER.
No. 8: She's not afraid of getting older
Oprah Winfrey dished on the joys (yes, joys!) of turning 60 in her eponymous magazine in late 2013: "I'm alive. Healthy. Strong. I'm turning 60, and — please don't take offense — I no longer have to be concerned about what anyone thinks of me!" she wrote. "I'm turning 60, and I've earned the right to be just as I am. I'm more secure in being myself than I've ever been." She sure makes getting older sound great, doesn't she?
No. 7: She's a loyal friend
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King have been BFFs for more than 40 years, ever since they met at a Baltimore TV station in 1976. And if Gayle is to be believed, the friendship has major perks: In November 2017, she revealed during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live" that back in the '90s, when she welcomed her second child just 11 months after giving birth to her first little one, her longtime friend hired a live-in nanny for her to help ease the burden of raising two babies at once. Gayle added that she "never could have afforded" the nanny without O's assistance. What a pal!
No. 6: She has the most logical take on love and marriage
Sure, Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have been an item for more than 30 years, but that doesn't mean they need to be married. "The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, 'What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?'" she told Vogue in an interview published in August 2017. "And the answer is: 'We wouldn't be together.' We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world." Continued the media mogul, "His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that." Concluded O, "Live life on your own terms."
No. 5: Her health and fitness journey is relatable
Just like the rest of us, Oprah Winfrey has struggled with her weight off-and-on over the years. Back in 1988, she lost 67 pounds with Optifast, but she's yo-yoed ever since, juggling various diets and exercise regimens with her love of food — especially bread! In 2015, O invested in Weight Watchers, which helped her lose more than 40 pounds — but that doesn't mean she's not a believer in the body positivity movement. Her priority is staying healthy rather than being thin, she told The New York Times magazine in an interview published in August 2017: "For your heart to pump, pump, pump, pump, it needs the least amount of weight possible to do that," said O. "So all of the people who are saying, 'Oh, I need to accept myself as I am' — I can't accept myself if I'm over 200 pounds, because it's too much work on my heart. It causes high blood pressure for me. It puts me at risk for diabetes, because I have diabetes in my family." Can't argue with that!
No. 4: She empowers other women
There are countless ways in which Oprah Winfrey has used her resources to support girls and women. Here are a few: She opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2007. According to People magazine, she funds Girl Effect, which aims to end poverty among adolescent females thus empowering them, and Women for Women International, which supports the financial, educational and interpersonal needs of women survivors of war, poverty and injustice. On top of all that, she employs only female directors on "Queen Sugar," the critically acclaimed drama she co-executive produces with Ava DuVernay and Melissa Carter. Now THAT is girl power!
No. 3: She overcame a tough childhood
There's no doubt that Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful humans on the planet, but she had to endure an extremely difficult childhood to get to where she is now. When she was just 14, the media mogul — who grew up extremely poor and briefly lived on the streets after bouncing around from relative to relative — became pregnant when her uncle raped her. She told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 that she ended up having a miscarriage, which her father called a "second chance" for her. "I was, in many ways, saved by that, and I made a decision that I was going to turn it around," she told THR of how she was empowered by her suffering.
No. 2: She's the eternal optimist
In 2013, Oprah Winfrey said that her greatest achievement is "never shutting [her] heart down." She dished on the subject in her eponymous magazine: "Even in my darkest moments — through sexual abuse, a pregnancy at 14, lies and betrayals — I remained faithful, hopeful and open to seeing the best in people, regardless of whether they were showing me their worst. I stayed open to believing that no matter how hard the climb, there is always a way to let in a sliver of light to illuminate the path forward."
No. 1: She made history (on more than one occasion!)
When Oprah Winfrey dropped out of college to launch her career, she became the youngest person and the first black woman to anchor the news at Nashville's WTVF-TV. In 1986, when she launched her production company, Harpo Studios, she became the first black woman (and third woman overall, after silent film star Mary Pickford and comedy legend Lucille Ball) to own her own Hollywood studio. And finally, when her eponymous television network, OWN, launched in 2011, it became the first and only network named for and inspired by a single individual.