Oprah Winfrey has bid farewell to loyal viewers of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Wednesday, May 25. Wearing a pink dress, the 57-year-old hosted the finale which was taped on May 24 without inviting any guest to the stage.
"There are no words to match this moment," she opened her speech after teary audience greeted her with clap as she entered the stage for the last time. "Every word I've ever spoken from the stage of the Oprah show - 4,561 days of my life - is what this moment is all about."
Oprah talked about her first days in Chicago with co-host Richard Scher, who sat among the audience, as old footage played behind her. She went on telling people how the show has changed her. "This last hour is really about me saying thank you. It is my love letter to you. I leave you with all the lessons that have been the anchor of my life, and the ones that I hold most precious," she said, announcing that there would be no surprises, makeovers or gifts in that episode.
"One day we're LOLing with Chris Rock, the next day we're at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] spending time with soldiers who lost their limbs," Oprah went on by recalling what she had been through while hosting the show. "The day after that, we're sitting with an entire family of heroin addicts."
She used the last few minutes to express her gratitude. "You and this show have been the great love of my life," she said while fighting tears. "It's been all sweet, no bitter." The recipient of Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at 2002 Emmy Awards made the crowd laugh when she said, "We have hooted and hollered together, we ugly cried together."
"I thank you for all your support and trust in me. I thank you for sharing this yellow brick road in blessings, for tuning in every day with your mothers, daughters, partners, gay or otherwise, husbands coaxed into watching me. You were as much as as sweet inspiration to me as I tried to be for you."
Oprah concluded it by stating, "I won't say goodbye. I'll just say, 'Until we meet again.' God be the glory." She then walked off the stage, hugging and kissing her longtime partner Stedman Graham as well as high-fiving guests.
At the backstage, she said goodbye to her crying staff while shedding her own tears. "We did it!" she shouted as the credits rolled. She hugged her executive producer Sheri Salata before the scene showed her holding her dog and saying, "We did it Sadie!"
Having done with the daytime talk show which ran for 25 years, Oprah is slated launch a new nighttime show, "Oprah's Next Chapter", on her network OWN in January 2012.