Sherri Shepherd revealed all to PEOPLE Magazine as part of their commemoration of Black History Month. In an exclusive essay shared with the publication, the talk show host details her first encounter with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, which took place on a phone call.
Winfrey’s “vanguard spirit” does not go unnoticed by Shepherd, who directly states how Winfrey’s foundational career in the media industry influenced her own success. Shepherd originally garnered fame as an actress, then transitioned into hosting and secured a coveted spot on The View’s lineup until leaving the show in 2014. During her tenure on the show, Shepherd secured Daytime Emmy wins and catapulted to mainstream prominence.
Shepard spoke on Winfrey’s impact on journalism and daytime television through her original talk show and expansive media enterprises. She expressed her deepest gratitude towards the Black woman who paved the way for her and countless others to have the platforms they do now. On her initial 40-minute conversation with the legendary host, Shepherd reveals that Oprah was humorous. Out of shock, she nearly “passed out.”
After a short introduction, Winfrey relayed that her close friend Gayle King told her that Shepherd does an incredible impersonation. Since that meeting, Shepherd says “every time I get to speak to her, it’s a master class.”
Her relationship with Lady O is one she holds dear to her heart. Winfrey’s “gems of wisdom” inspire and challenge Shepherd in her engagement with her diverse audience. The former View co-host, recently returned to daytime television with a new eponymous talk show, putting Black women on center stage for national syndication.
Their friendship professionally and personally is one Shepherd does not take for granted. It’s a relationship that’s especially wonderful to see between two Black women powerhouses in their field.
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