Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Oprah was 28 years old when she first read Alice Walker's award-winning book. And, after she heard it was being made into a movie, she set her sights on landing a role...despite the fact that she'd never acted before. "I just became obsessed with being a part of this movie," she says. "And it was, I believe, divine order, fate, that made it possible."
To this day, Oprah says playing Sofia still ranks as one of the great highlights of her life. "I never had more fun in my life than doing The Color Purple," she says.
Whoopi, on the other hand, says she didn't want the role of Celie at first. "I never made a movie before," she says. "I didn't know how this thing worked, and if I messed it up, I didn't want to get in trouble."