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The Biggest Stars on TV #2: Oprah Winfrey

Check back with TV Insider daily as we countdown the 10 Biggest Stars on TV, including picks from shows like NCIS and Blue Bloods, daytime television, streaming hits, HGTV, and more. Stay tuned, and sound off on our choices in the comments below!

TV has always created stars. But it takes a legend to burn bright enough to form a constellation.

That's the queen of daytime TV's legacy: We believe in Oprah Winfrey so much that her people became our people, from Dr. Phil to Dr. Oz, from Iyanla Vanzant to Suze Orman. It was a galaxy so large that an entire network, OWN, was birthed just to contain it. But it all started with the simple power of words.

Over its 25-year run, Winfrey's eponymous talk show made her both an icon and a down-to-earth friend we welcomed into our living rooms every weekday. Her struggles (with weight, with family) were ours, and so were her joys ("You get a car!").

(Credit: OWN)

She gave us the space and the language to talk about them all, no matter how dark or personal, showing how simple but passionate conversations — about race, about abuse, about relationships or even just the books we love — could help us live our best lives. 

This is an abbreviated version of TV Guide Magazine's latest cover story. For more, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.

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