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Senior producer Candi Carter, a 15-year veteran of The Oprah Show, was the producer behind the highest-rated show in the past five years—when Oprah revealed she has a long-lost half sister. 

Oprah said she had no idea her mother had given up a baby in 1963, and it wasn't until 2010 that she received the news that shook her to her core: Oprah found out her half sister Patricia lived just 90 minutes away in Milwaukee.

Watch Oprah and Patricia reunite Watch

Not only was Oprah and Patricia's story a very complicated one to tell, the news needed to be kept secret so it wouldn't leak. "I'd say it was one of the best-kept secrets in Harpo history," Oprah says. "Only a handful of people in the entire company knew what was going on."

Candi was only able to talk about the show with one person on her team, co-producer Stacy Strazis. "I didn't even tell my mom!" Stacy says.

Even top executives in the company weren't privy to this show topic. "We locked the tapes in my office at night," Candi says. "We had to swear the makeup artists to secrecy the morning of the show."

The lock-and-key strategy worked—the taping went off without a hitch, and Oprah and Patricia were able to tell their story on their terms.
FROM: Oprah Show Producers' Most Unforgettable Moments
Published on April 18, 2011


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