1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Oprah signs off

Vote:

Image: Oprah Winfrey
Kiichiro Sato  /  AP
Oprah Winfrey's final show featured no guests, no giveaways, just lots of memories.
updated 5/25/2011 12:00:22 PM ET 2011-05-25T16:00:22

Oprah Winfrey ended her famous talk show Wednesday by telling her viewers of 25 years that they weren't saying goodbye.

"I won't say goodbye, I'll just say until we meet again," Winfrey said.

She hugged and kissed her longtime partner Stedman Graham and shook hands with audience members before walking through the halls of Harpo Studios in Chicago, hugging and crying with her staff.

Oprah's farewell vs. other TV greats
  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

Winfrey shouted "We did it!" The last shot of the finale showed Winfrey walking away with her cocker spaniel, Sadie.

Earlier Winfrey walked on stage to a standing ovation from her studio audience. She thanked the viewers for watching for a quarter of a century.

Story: Comics mark Oprah farewell with punch lines

"Twenty-five years and I'm still saying, 'Thank you America,'" Winfrey said. "Thank you so much. There are no words to match this moment."

Winfrey told viewers that sometimes she was a teacher, but more often her viewers instructed her. She called Wednesday's episode her "last class."

Story: Oprah's 10 most memorable moments

The final "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which was taped in Chicago on Tuesday, opened with a clip from her first show.

Winfrey was the only person on stage with little background music and very short flashback clips.

"When she came out, her appearance, the way she stepped on stage and the message she brought (was) about finding yourself, your purpose," said audience member Wanda Nash, 47, of Chicago, an executive assistant and foster parent. "It was all about Oprah."

Video: Audience member dishes on ‘emotional’ Oprah finale (on this page)

Some fans across the country planned parties for the finale. Sharon Evans, 53, of Chicago had pancakes with her mother and girlfriends.

"She was very subdued today and I appreciated that she was taking that last hour not to showcase any celebrities or favorite things," Evans said. "It was truly what she said, a love letter to us."

Winfrey announced in November 2009 that she would end her popular talk show after 25 years.

  1. Stay in the know!
    1. 'Like' The Clicker

      Get the latest TV and reality TV news by following our blog on Facebook and Twitter!

    2. 'Like' us on Facebook
    3. @TODAY_Clicker on Twitter

Tuesday's taping came a week after Hollywood A-listers and 13,000 fans bid Winfrey farewell in a double-episode extravaganza at Chicago's United Center. The shows that aired Monday and Tuesday included Aretha Franklin, Tom Cruise, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jordan and Madonna, among other stars of television, music and movies. They were just a few of the approximately 30,000 guests who have appeared on the show over 25 years.

Kimmel serenades Oprah with Boyz II Men

The bare-bones final taping nevertheless had its share of celebrities in the audience including Tyler Perry, Maria Shriver, Suze Orman and Cicely Tyson. None of them joined Winfrey on stage.

There were 404 audience members, according to Harpo Productions. The show received 1.4 million ticket requests throughout its final season, the company said.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Oprah's farewell spectacular

loading photos...
  1. A lovely tribute

    Halle Berry, left, Katie Holmes, center, and Queen Latifah attend Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular at the United Center in Chicago on Tuesday, May 17. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is ending its run May 25, after 25 years, and millions of her fans around the globe are waiting to see how she will close out a show that spawned a media empire. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Shine a light

    Fans hold up lights as Rascal Flatts perform during a star-studded double-taping of "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" on Tuesday, May 17 in Chicago. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A ha-ha moment

    Oprah Winfrey laughs with poet Maya Angelou during the taping of "Oprah's Surprise Spectacular" in Chicago on Tuesday, May 17. Winfrey kicked off one of her last-ever national talk shows on Tuesday with hugs from Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Madonna in a packed United Center. (John Gress / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Amazing Aretha

    Aretha Franklin performs "Amazing Grace" for Oprah Winfrey during the Tuesday, May 17 taping. She was introduced by Winfrey's longtime partner, Stedman Graham. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. She likes Mike

    Michael Jordan, who lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s, was also among the stars who feted the talk host. He told Winfrey that she inspires him. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. At her side

    Stedman Graham, Winfrey's longtime partner, told her that he loved her and was proud of her during the taping on Tuesday, May 17. "It really does amaze me that I get to be around a woman who changes people's lives every day and who also takes her own lunch to work," Graham told the crowd at the United Center. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Giving thanks

    About 300 Morehouse College scholarship students walked along the United Center aisles as Kristen Chenoweth sang "For Good" from the musical "Wicked" during the Tuesday, May 17 taping. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Oprah and her friends

    Gayle King, left, and Maria Shriver, right, were at Winfrey's side during the taping of "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular." Shriver appeared on the same day it was revealed her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, fathered a child with a woman on his household staff more than a decade ago. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Lady Madonna

    Pop superstar Madonna said she is among the millions of people who are inspired by Winfrey. "She fights for things she believes in, even if it makes her unpopular," she said. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Serenading Oprah

    "America's Got Talent" phenom Jackie Evancho, left, Patti LaBelle, center, and Josh Groban perform "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for Winfrey. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Oprah's babies

    Actress Dakota Fanning, surrounded by children, told Winfrey "we call ourselves Oprah show babies. Your voice has been the soundtrack of our lives." (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A song just for Oprah

    Stevie Wonder serenaded Winfrey with an original song, singing to her, "Oprah thank you for using your gifts to uplift so many hearts." He also performed "Isn't She Lovely" with Jamie Foxx. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Power couple

    Jamie Foxx pays tribute to Winfrey during "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" at the United Center in Chicago on Tuesday, May 17. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Playing it straight from the heart

    Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was among the many stars who paid tribute to Winfrey. (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A Rosie tribute

    Talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell sings during the taping of "Surprise Oprah!" on Tuesday, May 17. O'Donnell has a new show set to debut on Winfrey's OWN network this fall. (John Gress / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Saluting the 'goddess'

    Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith also joined Winfrey on the stage. The couple started off the taping of the second show, which will air on Tuesday, May 24. Pinkett Smith, right, thanked Winfrey and told her she mothered millions and "that puts you in the status of a goddess." (Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. No couch this time

    Tom Cruise, famous for his couch jumping on Winfrey's show, was among the stars at "Surprise Oprah!" on Tuesday, May 17. "You always had the power, and that is the message you brought into our lives," Cruise told Winfrey. (John Gress / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Girl power

    Beyonce sings "Run the World (Girls)," backed by dozens of dancers, during "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular." (Peter Wynn Thompson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Just a few of her friends

    Oprah Winfrey is kissed by singer Usher, third from left, next to actor Will Smith, center, former NBA star Michael Jordan, third from right, actor Tom Cruise, second from right, talk host Rosie O'Donnell, right, and Simon Cowell, left, during the taping of "Surprise Oprah!" on Tuesday, May 17. (John Gress / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Farewell

    Oprah Winfrey wiped away tears as celebrity after celebrity surprised her during a farewell double-episode taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that will precede her finale. "Thank you is not enough, but thank you," Winfrey told the crowd of 13,000 gathered at Chicago's United Center on Tuesday, May 17 for "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular." "For your love and your support, thank you." (Peter Wynn Thompson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  1. Image: Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular
    Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (20) Oprah's farewell spectacular
  2. Paramount Pictures
    Slideshow (37) Oprah Winfrey