Girlfriends: Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King's Friendship Through the Years

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honoree Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King are the original BFFs. Let’s hear it for 35 years of amazing friendship and revisit their inspiring sisterhood.

Charli Penn Feb, 19, 2013

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Oprah Winfrey and her dear sister-friend Gayle King have one of the most iconic friendships in the entertainment business. Thirty-five years ago, they met at a news station in Baltimore. Winfrey was a news anchor and King a production assistant. Normally they would never have had the chance to get to know each other well, but one night a snowstorm brought them together. While snowed in at Ms. Winfrey’s place, the ladies stayed up all night talking, and by morning they were the best of friends.

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You know what they say: Men will come and go, but great girlfriends are here to stay. Here, King poses with Winfrey and her longtime love Steadman Graham at the 1994 Emmy Awards in New York City.

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In 1998, while King was a news anchor in Hartford, Connecticut, she took her son Kirby with her to Chicago for a big interview with her good friend Winfrey. She chatted with her bestie in between taping her show. It was a huge ratings hit for King, and of course, her pal was happy to help a fellow journalist achieve success.

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When you’re always by Oprah Winfrey’s side, you rub elbows with the biggest stars in the world. Here, King and Winfrey mingle with music icon Quincy Jones in late 2004.

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King never misses a chance to return the support to Winfrey. Here, the gal pals strike a pose on the red carpet at the first anniversary party for Winfrey’s O magazine in New York City in 2001.

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Hardworking journalists Winfrey and King make time for a little fun at a New York Fashion Week show in 2002.

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True friendship makes you happy. In interviews, Winfrey and King admit to talking to each other four times a day on the phone. Judging from their matching smiles in this photo from 2002, it more than works for their friendship.

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Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King smile for the cameras at an event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City in 2004.

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Their clothes and hair may change over the years, but Winfrey and King’s friendship always remains in tact. Here, they pose with famous friends at a social event in 2006.

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Winfrey and her best friend King listen as teachers interview candidates for Winfrey’s school for underprivileged girls in 2006 in Durban, South Africa.

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Winfrey and King celebrate O magazine’s 10th anniversary.

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King is Winfrey’s biggest fan. Did you know she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show 139 times? That’s more than anyone except Lady O herself.


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