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Courtney Thorne-Smith (born November 8, 1967) is an American actress. She was born in San Francisco, California.
Her most notable television credit was playing Alison Parker on the nighttime drama Melrose Place (1992-1997). Other notable TV roles included Georgia Thomas on Ally McBeal (1997-2000) and, currently, wife Cheryl on According to Jim.
Courtney made her first movie appearance in the 1986 feature film drama, Lucas. She has also starred in movies such as Summer School (1987), Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987), and Side Out (1990).
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She was born in San Francisco, California. Winfrey is based in Chicago, Illinois but has a home in Montecito, California; she is reported to have recently been buying property on Maui. Courtney Thorne-Smith (born November 8, 1967) is an American actress. She is the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards), which, among other things, produced the screen adaptation of the Toni Morrison novel Beloved. Winfrey has also ventured into acting, most notably in the screen adaptation of the Alice Walker novel The Color Purple (for which she received an Oscar nomination) and in her own production Beloved. Winfrey is also a published author, and was the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards. She publishes her own magazines, O: The Oprah Magazine (http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/omag_landing.jhtml) and O at Home, and cofounded the women's cable television network Oxygen. Winfrey has started The Angel Network (http://www.oprah.com/uyl/oan_landing.jhtml), an organization that collects millions of dollars a year for charities.
After the trial, Oprah received a postcard from Rosie O'Donnell reading, "Congratulations, you beat the meat!". After a trial spanning over two months in a court in the thick of Texas cattle country, the jury found on February 26 that Oprah was not guilty, did not act with malice, and was not liable for damages. During a show about Mad Cow disease with Howard Lyman aired on April 16, 1996, Winfrey exclaimed, "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" Texas cattlemen sued Oprah and Lyman in early 1998 for "false defamation of perishable food" and "business disparagement", claiming that Winfrey's remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some $12 million. Whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, the book almost instantly became a best-seller, a powerful demonstration of Winfrey's influence.
In the late 1990s, Winfrey introduced her book club on television. Her own weight fluctuations have caused her to be considered a weight-loss guru. Winfrey has often discussed openly various aspects of her life, including those more unpleasant ones, with the media, including a sexually abusive childhood and a problem with drugs as an adult. Winfrey began to do a lot of charity work, and her show featured people suffering from poverty or the victims of unfortunate accidents.
By the mid 1990s, however, the format became more serious, addressing issues that Winfrey thought were of direct importance and of crucial consequence to women. Originally, the show followed traditional talk show formats. An African American woman born to humble beginnings, she started as a Baltimore news anchor. In 1986, her local Chicago daytime talk show, called The Oprah Winfrey Show (and later abbreviated to Oprah), debuted nationally. Eventually, Oprah became the accepted name.
Her birth certificate has Orpah, after the Moabite woman in the Book of Ruth, but family and neighbors transposed the R and the P when pronouncing and writing her name. Oprah Gail Winfrey (born 29 January 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi) is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the United States.