Mary Tyler Moore and Oprah

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Favorite Celebrity Women (1997)
Early in my television career, I was inspired by one woman whose show I never—and I mean never—missed. Every week, I tuned in to watch Mary Tyler Moore "turn the world on with her smile." I once even performed a spoof of the opener of that sitcom!

When Mary heard about my spoof, she surprised me with a live call on the air. "Mary," I said, beside myself in shock, "I can't believe it's really you!"

"Now, listen," she said with a laugh, "about that tossing the hat in the air, Oprah. That's my shtick. I don't like anyone messing with that."

"Mare, if you would have shown up here," I said, "I'd have just died."

Right then, the Mary Tyler Moore theme song began to play, and Mary walked right out onto the stage. I was a basket case! I am still in awe of a woman whose life is an example of grace and sensitivity—and whose appearance that day gave me the surprise of a lifetime. 

Find out how Oprah's crew recreated sets from The Mary Tyler Moore Show!