Fannie is crowned princess for a day.

They're the faces you remember and the stories you'll never forget. We're catching up with some of our most memorable guests to see where they are now.

In February 2003, Oprah donned a crown and scepter to bestow a very important honor—Princess for a Day—on some very deserving people. One of the women who received the royal treatment was Fannie, who was nominated by the woman she worked for as a housekeeper and nanny.

After the death of her younger sister, Fannie raised her two nieces and nephew as if they were her own. "My aunt has never given up on me. No matter how desperate the situation seemed, she never let me go," said her nephew, Lloyd.

Fannie lived to give and sometimes went without for herself. She drove an old van with no air-conditioning.

Oprah decided to give Fannie a royal break—Merry Maids service for a year and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City. She also got a new set of wheels—a van with air conditioning!
Fannie lost her home in Hurricane Katrina.

Two years later, Princess Fannie and her family became one of thousands of families left homeless after Hurricane Katrina. "When we found out Katrina was coming, I was able to pile 12 of my relatives into the van that Oprah gave me, and we were able to get out," she says. "I said, 'If it hadn't been for Oprah Winfrey, we wouldn't have gotten out of here.'"

Before evacuating, Fannie says she made sure to take one prized possession with her—her tiara. "As crowded as [the van] was with kids, I didn't want it stepped on, so I put it on. I made sure it was safe," she says.

Fannie and her family returned home three months later to find her neighborhood destroyed. "We lost everything," she says. "All we had left was the bricks and the floors."

In November 2006, Fannie and her husband started living in a FEMA trailer on their property. Fannie doesn't want to leave because there's no one else to protect her home, which is under construction. "I just look for the day that I can get out of here, go in the house and have somewhere for my kids to come," she says. "That's the hardest part, being here by myself without my kids."

Although work on Fannie's home was supposed to be finished in December 2007, she's still hopeful. "I'm still waiting to take a deep breath," she says. "I haven't done that yet. Not since August 29, [2005]."
Nate has a big surprise for Fannie.

To help her breathe a little easier, Nate Berkus—who helped design Katrina homes for Oprah's Angel Network neighborhoods—has a special message for Fannie.

"My heart goes out to you and to your family," he says. "Say goodbye to your FEMA trailer because you and your family are moving into the award-winning Homewood Suites by Hilton while my team and I come down to New Orleans and finish your house. And I personally am going to decorate every room."

That's not all—Brinks Home Security is installing a top-of-the-line system in her house to keep everything safe and providing free service for the next five years.

Fannie is stunned. "Oprah, thank you," she says.

"I know it's been hard," Oprah says. "If America would just not forget that so many people still have not been able to move back into their homes, so many thousands of people are still living in FEMA trailers. Fannie represents just one of them."
Nancy is shocked to learn she will get to meet Tom Cruise.

One of the Oprah Show's all-time funniest moments happened in 2001 when producers showed up at the front door of a huge Tom Cruise fan. Cameras rolled as Nancy was told she was finally going to meet the man of her dreams. To pull it off, the surprise had to be done early—so early that Oprah wasn't even dressed yet!

Watch Nancy's reaction. Watch

As promised, Nancy got to meet Tom Cruise face-to-face. "I was so happy for her," Oprah says. "It was a wonderful moment for her."
Nancy gets another surprise from 'The Oprah Show.'

Seven years after that initial surprise, Nancy is still one of Tom Cruise's biggest fans—and she has another surprise coming! After days of plotting and planning, Oprah Show producers arrive at Nancy's office. "Please do not tell me that Oprah Winfrey is inside that camera again!" she says. "Is Tom Cruise here somewhere?"

As Nancy tries to get a hold of herself, Oprah reveals the big surprise. "Tom is coming back right here to this very studio, and he asked that I ask you to come back," Oprah says.

"You're kidding me," Nancy says. "He asked about me?"

Nancy says she still gets recognized as the "Tom Cruise lady." In fact, she is such a fan that when her house burned down in 2002, she made sure to save her box of Tom Cruise memorabilia filled with pictures. She even kept the outfit she wore on the show!
Sharyn had a hoarding problem.

In November 2007, millions of viewers watched in disbelief as organizational expert Peter Walsh helped Sharyn face the truth about her home, her stuff and her life. After her family turned her in to The Oprah Show for hoarding, Sharyn became the most asked about person of the entire season!

Getting Sharyn and her husband Marvin out of the piles of clutter seemed to be an insurmountable task, but they took it one object at a time. Below the mountains of mess, Peter and the family discovered the house was not only unlivable—it was dangerous. They found everything from mold and mice nests to food from 1994. Peter told Sharyn there was nothing in her home that was worth risking her health.

Sharyn and Marvin moved in with family while Peter and a team of more than 100 people took nearly two months to clean out the house. Sharyn didn't realize how far her hoarding had gone until she saw that the items from her home filled a 10,000-square-foot warehouse.

After seven weeks, Sharyn and Marvin returned home to see the results. "I was a sick person, and there was a monster inside of me that had been unleashed," Sharyn said. "I will never, ever do this again."
Peter pays a surprise visit to Sharyn and Marvin.

Oprah and Peter both say they are constantly asked about how Sharyn is doing. So in March 2008, four months after Sharyn and Marvin's fresh start, Peter dropped in for a surprise inspection to check on their progress.

When Peter walks into the house, he sees a clean living room. "It's beautiful," he says. "It's exactly as I remember—a couple of plastic bags, but that's not so bad."

Clothing used to be an issue for Sharyn, but not anymore. Her closets—even the sock drawers—are still perfectly organized. "Look at this house. It's like we left yesterday!" Peter says.

Still, Marvin has a few boxes to sort through. Peter makes a deal with him—if after six weeks he hasn't finished, Marvin must throw them out.

Peter is impressed. "From my heart, I could not be more blown away," he says.

"I'm glad I didn't disappoint you," Sharyn says.
Sharyn and Marvin are enjoying their new life.

Peter says he wasn't surprised that Sharyn and Marvin did so well. "They were ready. They had a support team," he says. "[When] you have strategies for change, change is possible. It can be done."

Sharyn and Marvin's children, Steven, Jodi and Rich, say they're very proud of their parents. "I think I've been really hard on them," Steven says. "I was really glad to hear that Peter gave them an A plus plus on what he saw."

Looking at the old tapes, Sharyn says she can't believe how she was living. "You really don't believe that is you because it was a way of life," she says. "But now I'm acclimated to something that is simply beautiful."

Sharyn says she now feels a compulsion to keep everything clean. "If I go to the grocery store, whatever, I come in and I immediately open every bag, put everything in its place where it goes, and that's such a wonderful feeling because I can do that because there is a place for everything," she says. "I have lots of empty drawers and closets and everything, and it's going to stay that way."

Peter's intervention gave the family back more than just living space. It gave them a new life. For the first time in 10 years, Sharyn and Marvin hosted their family's Passover dinner. "We got our life back," Marvin says. "We got our home."
The response to our puppy mills show was inspiring.

Oprah Show correspondent Lisa Ling's April 2008 investigation about puppy mills got the largest response of any show this season. "I knew it would because we love our dogs," Oprah says. "Thanks to everybody who went to their local shelters to adopt a new pet."

The response was inspiring. Shelters reported being inundated with prospective owners eager to adopt and donate. The day after the show aired, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Florida, broke all of its records with 32 total adoptions.

The Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control Center in Indiana also broke records. The day after the program, the center received 131 visitors and handled 19 adoptions in only four hours.

The day the show aired, the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick, Maine, was deluged with visitors looking for a dog. "What I heard was that they didn't know how bad puppy mills were," a volunteer says. "They wanted to rescue these dogs."

The Oprah Show also heard from pet store owners who say they do not go to puppy mills for their puppies. One said he'd even experienced some violence at his store. Do your research and ask your local pet store owners where their puppies come from. Responsible owners should be happy to address your concerns, and remember, violence is never the answer.
Jill Rappaport

As a lifelong animal lover, The Today Show's Jill Rappaport says Lisa's report brought her to tears. "I could barely contain myself," she says. "I have to tell you, that show will haunt me for the rest of my life, as it should."

When Jill isn't on set, you can find her at home with her five dogs and six horses. "Animals are my whole life. They're my children," she says. "You realize how important it is to take care of our babies. We're their voice. We have to speak for them."

In 2007, Jill spoke up on behalf of Jack, her rescued German shepherd who was battling cancer. She profiled him on The Today Show, and she's happy to report he's now cancer-free. Doctors did have to amputate one of Jack's front legs, but Jill says he's made a full recovery. Jack was even named an Ambassador Dog of Hope by The American College of Veterinary Medicine. "He's amazing," she says. "He's on three legs and truly a miracle dog."
Brianna with her new family

Oprah was inspired to take action in another way after learning about the conditions at some puppy mills. In April 2008, she visited PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter near Harpo Studios. During her visit, she surprised the founder by sponsoring a room for rescued dogs in memory of her dog Sophie and donating a $10,000 check from Target.

While touring the facilities, Oprah also met Brianna, an adorable puppy who stole her heart. The day after the show featuring Brianna aired, she was adopted by a Chicago family. "There are three boys in the house who say they love her fury face and are excited to have her home," Oprah says. "I was so happy Brianna got a home."

Though Oprah wanted to take Brianna home for herself, she says she's not quite ready for a new dog in her life. "It will take some time for me to be ready," she says. "As I said before, the next time I adopt a dog, I'm going to go to a no-kill shelter."
Nancy and Thomas

Another Oprah Show that got people talking featured 34-year-old Thomas and his wife of five years, Nancy. This Oregon couple came on the show to discuss the upcoming birth of their first child. So why did they make headlines around the world?

The husband, Thomas, is the one who's pregnant. Thomas was born female and lived for 24 years as a woman named Tracy. After agonizing for decades over her identity, Tracy became a man.

For the past two years, Thomas and Nancy have been trying to have a child. Nancy, the mother of two daughters from a previous marriage, says the effects of endometriosis left her unable to have more children. After investigating their options, the couple decided Thomas would be the one to carry their child. In October 2007, they used an anonymous donor sperm to conceive their first baby, a little girl.

In this day and age, Thomas said different is normal. "Love makes a family," he said. "And that's all that matters."
Thomas, after the show

After the show aired, Oprah checked in with Thomas and Nancy to see what sort of response they received. "They said they received an outpouring of support from around the world," Oprah says. "Their neighbors even brought them bundt cakes."

Though they touched on many important topics during the hour, Oprah says there were a few questions asked during the postshow discussion that she wants to share. As the cameras kept rolling, one audience member asked Thomas if he plans to deliver the baby naturally or through a C-section.

"I'm planning on doing it as natural as possible," he says. "I want to feel the experience."

Thomas also shared that the baby was conceived using his eggs, and he's not able to breast feed because he had his mammary glands surgically removed years ago. "My nipples did actually change a little bit, and I was really shocked because they were grafted back on," he says. "The doctor said, 'There is a good possibility you may never have feeling again,' but they actually grew a little bit [when I got pregnant], and now I have feeling again."
Jeff and Karen

In January 2008, Oprah and fitness guru Bob Greene launched the Best Life Challenge in Mississippi, the state named the fattest in America. According to experts, one out of every three Mississippians is obese.

During their trip, thousands of people in the town of Meridian agreed to sign Best Life contracts, committing to take control of their lives and end their struggle with weight. Oprah says she'll never forget meeting Jeff and Karen, two dieters who have hundreds of pounds to lose.

Jeff once weighed nearly 800 pounds, but by the time he signed his contract, he'd already lost 150 pounds. He told Bob and Oprah he was committed to losing even more. "I do pool work every day. I walk in the water and do aerobics in the water," he said. "I do a workout with free weights."

Karen, a mother of two, weighed 512 pounds when Oprah met her in Meridian. She revealed that she was frightened about her future. "After my second child, my last child, I acquired high blood pressure, and my health has been going downhill ever since," she said. "It's to the point where I either lose it or I'm going to die."
Jeff and Karen work out together.

In the past few months, Jeff has lost another 46 pounds and Karen has dropped 44 pounds with the help of the Bob's Best Life Diet program.

After meeting at The Oprah Show taping, Jeff and Kate started teaming up four days a week for workouts. "We're going to continue to update you on their progress," Oprah says. "That takes a lot of courage to do that."
Sue, after her prank makeover

In 2002, prankster Jamie Kennedy helped Oprah do something she'd never done before—give viewers hideous makeovers. Jamie played the part of an over-the-top Hollywood stylist and helped pull off one of the best practical jokes in Oprah Show history.

The makeover millions of viewers still remember involved Sue Ross, a suburban mom and grandma. Sue was hoping for a new haircolor and a few makeup tips, but she got a lot more than she bargained for. Using black eyeliner and white face paint, Jamie and his team transformed Sue into a dark queen of Goth!

Watch Jamie's hilarious makeover take shape. Watch

"You can use this look when you pick up your grandkids from kindergarten," Jamie said with a straight face. "Twenty million people are going to see you on Oprah looking like this!"

When Sue's daughter Kerry saw her mom decked out in black leather and a cheetah-print cowgirl hat, she was speechless.

After a few minutes, Jamie let Sue and Kerry in on the joke. "I think you guys are fantastic," he said. "I also want to let you know my name is Jamie Kennedy, and you're part of Oprah Winfrey's hidden camera prank show."
Sue, before and after her makeover

After the gig was up, all the women featured on that show received a gift certificate for a real makeover from professionals...except for Sue, who moved overseas with her husband to a military base in Kuwait. She may have been thousands of miles away, but she never forgot Jamie's practical joke. Even in Kuwait, she says people recognized her from The Oprah Show!

Finally, six years later, Sue's back in the States and ready for her real makeover from beauty and style experts. How does it feel?

"It's wonderful," she says. "It was a great feeling."
FROM: Hall of Fame Guests: Where Are They Now?
Published on June 03, 2008


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