Oprah Remembers Diahann Carroll: 'She's Here. She Is with Us'
Saturday was a star-studded night in Atlanta, as Tyler Perry celebrated the opening of his new movie studio on the site of a Confederate army base.
All 12 sound stages at the facility are named after people in the industry who have inspired him, with number one being Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah was on hand for the festivities, and spoke with “Extra's” Special Correspondent Rachel Lindsay, saying, "It is my reward, you know? Everybody does work in your life and you do work for whatever your intention is, then you have no idea who you are impacting or who is being affected by the things you do. I feel honored, I feel blessed, I feel proud.”
Winfrey, who said she was so happy to be there for Tyler, said, “It's one of the best nights of my life, 'cause I know it's going to be one of the best nights of Tyler's life. Tyler is like a little big brother — sometimes I am the big sister, sometimes he's the big brother, and sometimes we are supporting each other... I just wish his mother was here to see this... This is an out-of-this-world achievement."
The media mogul also commented on the passing of Diahann Carroll, who broke racial barriers on TV, on Broadway, and in the movies. "She had a great impact on me," she said of Carroll, who died Friday at 84 after a long battle with cancer. Saying she invited Diahann, along with other legends, to her house 14 years ago to thank them for their trailblazing, Oprah had no trouble choosing which of Carroll's projects most affected her. “For me, it was 'Julia.' It was the first time seeing an attractive, beautiful, gorgeous black woman on television who wasn't playing a maid, who wasn't being subservient." The series, which ran from 1968-1971, made such an impression on Oprah because, "You say, 'I can do that, I can be that.' It said, 'This is possible,' and she was saying that years ago. She's here. She is with us."