CHICAGO — Oprah Winfrey’s talk show ends Wednesday with an episode featuring only the talk show queen thanking her viewers and highlighting the lessons they have learned from one another over 25 years.
Audience members who attended the Tuesday taping in Chicago of the final episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” said Winfrey was the only person onstage.
“When she came out, her appearance, the way she stepped on stage and the message she brought about finding yourself, your purpose,” said Wanda Nash, 47, of Chicago, an executive assistant and foster parent. “It was all about Oprah.”
Fans leaving Tuesday’s taping said Winfrey had tears in her eyes as the television icon said a final thank you.
Winfrey kissed and hugged her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, and made her way through the halls of Harpo Studios, saying goodbye to her staff, audience members said.
There was a single chair on the stage, but Winfrey stood most of the time, they said.
Winfrey announced in November 2009 that she would end her popular talk show after 25 years.
Tuesday’s taping came a week after Hollywood’s A-list and 13,000 fans bid Winfrey farewell during a double-episode extravaganza at Chicago’s United Center. The shows that aired Monday and Tuesday included Aretha Franklin, Tom Cruise, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jordan and Madonna, among other stars of television, music and movies.
The bare-bones final taping had its share of celebrities in the audience including Tyler Perry, Maria Shriver, Suze Orman and Cicely Tyson, but none of them joined Winfrey on stage.
The finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has remained a secret, even as Harpo Studios hyped it as a television event.