When award-winning actor Tom Hanks first appeared on The Oprah Show in 1988, he says, it was a huge deal for him. "Heart racing, heart pounding," Tom says. "You can't believe it's her. There she is. There's Oprah!" Tom went on to appear on the show 16 times, including the episode when he pretended to direct the show.
For Tom, Oprah has been "enlightenment personified." "Men now know how to communicate their feelings to their loved ones because of Oprah," he says. "Kids now know how to tell the truth about what has happened to them because of Oprah. Women will come in and talk about those secret things that have made them unhappy or kept them from their dreams coming true because Oprah has made it possible to answer the questions that everybody has. So Oprah was a pioneer in that way.
"Oprah, we are going to miss you, although you're not going anywhere. It's like you're moving out of the neighborhood. You've been down in that house on the corner for all these years. We've been able to stop by. You had great parties, and now you're leaving the neighborhood. Quite frankly, the street's not gonna be the same without Oprah Winfrey. Love you, girl."