Everyone knows that Gayle King is Oprah Winfrey's partner in crime. They are best friends who spend as many holidays, vacations and nights in together as possible. But they rarely get choked up about their enviable friendship. That is, expect in 2018 while they were discussing the opening of the "Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture" exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.
"The bottom line is she really is a good human who just wants to do good in the world," an emotional King said on CBS This Morning. "I'm full and I am so proud. There's no one like her."
Meryl Streep is a legend in her own right so of course these two are pals. In fact, if Winfrey were to ever run for president, she has Streep's full endorsement. "She launched a rocket tonight. I want her to run for president," Streep told The Washington Post. "I don't think she had any intention [of declaring]. But now she doesn't have a choice."
Upon meeting Winfrey, the late night talk show host instantly understood why she was so loved in the industry. "She's really just a person who lights the whole building up. It kind of amazes me," Jimmy Kimmel told TV Guide back in 2012. "I love her! I really do...I get it now. I used to think they were being phony, but I feel the same way now. It's hard to describe, and I know most people who were fans of The Man Show will probably be horrified to hear this, but honestly, Oprah is an inspiring person."
Together these two Hollywood icons are dynamite, but Tom Hanks isn't exactly ready to be the VP if Winfrey ever runs for president. He does however fully support everything she does. "I will carry [the nuclear briefcase] for the President of the United States, Oprah Winfrey," Hanks told E! News in January 2018. "I will be in charge of that briefcase."
In addition to joking about being BFFs with Winfrey, Witherspoon has named the media mogul as one of her biggest mentors and we totally get why. "Oprah comes to mind because I had the extraordinary opportunity to work with her this year on A Wrinkle in Time. Every free moment I would ask her what she's learned. In a way, she has multiple Masters degrees in human behavior. She's done over 34,000 interviews," Witherspoon told Fast Company in 2018.
"I would always say to her, 'what do people want? What's the one thing that's the connective tissue of humanity of people you've met?' And she said, ‘people just want to be seen. They want to be acknowledged. They want to know that they were understood.' And if I could help people do that I'd feel really, really proud of the work I've done in this world."
"To the most wonderful person in the world, Oprah Winfrey, our friend. And it's not just because you went out of your way to make sure that 50,000 underprivileged children in South Africa had their first Christmas gift or that you want to put schools throughout that country, but also because you inject the spirit into our society of life. You care," John Travolta said in a speech for Winfrey's 50th birthday. "Your intelligence, your inspiration, and you do it all without judging, and because you treat everyone equally important, and this makes you a great American hero."
"You represent the best of our country and what's possible in our country, but, more importantly, you are a citizen of the world, and you are a hero to mankind. So we are better for knowing you, Oprah. We are," he continued. "And to boot, you are beautiful, you are sexy. You're talented, and we love you so much, we can't take it."
After more than 40 years of friendship, these two are still big fans of each other's work and dedication to their craft. When Winfrey did her Oprah Winfrey's Farewell Show, Shriver was one of her final guests.
"You've given me love, support, wisdom, and most of all, the truth," Shriver said. "And I know I'm not alone in receiving those gifts from you. You've taught young women and men to focus on learning everything they can so that they can give the world everything that they are."
In February 2018, Tiffany Haddish revealed she is a super fan of Winfrey during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. After telling DeGeneres about her idea to team up with Winfrey to create Tiff & O's Vegetables, she admitted she wrote Winfrey letters after meeting her on the set of The Eyes Are Watching God. That's when Winfrey came out on stage and surprised the comedian.
"I love you," Haddish says through her tears. "You are so, so, so good," Winfrey said back to which Haddish added, "You told me that before in a dream."
Nate Berkus was a collaborator on The Oprah Winfrey Show and his world was forever changed by his gig on the series and his friendship with the talk show host. "I feel like I've graduated from the top talk-show school in the universe," Berkus told New York Magazine in 2010 ahead of the premiere of his own show The Nate Berkus Show. "Oprah and I have a really incredible friendship that has grown over the years and she has been absolutely accessible to me not only for questions about career but questions about day-to-day stuff."
After working with Winfrey on A Wrinkle in Time, Mindy Kaling is happy to able to call her one of her friends, but she is still in awe of the actress. In fact, while in labor with her daughter, Kaling only responded to Winfrey's text. "I got a bunch of texts and the great thing about when you're in labor is like, 'Oh, I don't have to respond to any of these people,'" Kaling explained. "But she texted me about something about her magazine and I remember, I'm literally in labor, and was like, 'Oh, of course, anything!' ... I'm laying in Cedars-Sinai…I'm hooked up to the thing...and Oprah asked me something about the magazine and I didn't even tell her I was in labor because I was like, 'Anything you want. Of course!'"
"I've made a lifelong friend in that woman. I think she's one of the highlights of humankind. I'm lucky that she's my pal," Julia Roberts told Extra in 2011. And when they were both up for a a SAG award in 2013, Julia admitted she would happily lose the trophy to her pal. "We're going to get through this just fine," she told E! News at the time with a big laugh. "Honestly, not to speak for her—Oprah Winfrey, she' so fabulous—but we're both just thrilled. This is such a beautiful moment."
In 2011, fans said goodbye to The Oprah Winfrey Show, but for some, like Dr. Phil McGraw who really got his TV start with Winfrey it was much more than the end of a talk show. The good news is that Dr. Phil and Winfrey are still very close and supportive of one another.
"She's always been my mentor and helper on the Dr. Phil Show, and of course that will continue. And then I'm very involved in the Oprah Winfrey Network, doing a number of projects. So I'm one of those lucky few that gets to continue to have her in my life on an ongoing basis. So I feel very fortunate about that," McGraw told NPR at the time.
Ava DuVernay and Winfrey have worked together on numerous projects and their friendship is pure and joyful. "She was always talking about being your best self," DuVernay told Sway's Universe about Winfrey's real life persona.
"She's cool. In her day, she's not dwelling on darkness ever. She don't like to gossip. She don't like to talk about people. She doesn't even like to watch negative things," she explained. "She just feeds herself with light and it works for her. So, I just try to watch that and I'm like, ‘what are you doing?'"