Happy Birthday, Oprah! 5 Surprising Facts About Her Love Life

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Oprah Winfrey
Love before Stedman? We've uncovered the little known facts about O's romantic history.

3. Oprah dated John Tesh.

As a young reporter, Oprah dated Entertainment Tonight co-host John Tesh. In Kitty Kelley's tell-all celebrity biography, she claims that Oprah and Tesh were once lovers who shared an apartment in Nashville during the mid-1970s. Tesh, now a syndicated radio host, confirmed the rumor to the media. "Oprah and I were cub reporters in Nashville nearly 40 years ago and we dated for a short time," he said. "We even talked about it during one of my appearances on her show. We remain friends to this day."

 

4. Roger Ebert convinced Oprah to syndicate while on a date ... at a burger joint.

Who knew Oprah went on a date with Roger Ebert back in the '80s? (We were surprised to hear that, too.) On Oprah's 20th anniversary special, she revealed that it was Ebert who gave her the emotional push she needed to move into syndication. On their first date, the film critic treated her to a typical dinner-and-a-movie date. Over dinner at the Hamburger Hamlet, she told him that two different stations wanted to syndicate her local talk show, but she wasn't sure which one to choose. Roger started crunching the numbers on a napkin to prove that her show would be a huge hit if she syndicated. He slid the napkin across the table and she replied, "Deal done!" Smart move!

5. Oprah makes Stedman a "Love Sandwich."

What would any look back at Oprah's love life be without Stedman Graham? Stedman's been the steady man in Oprah's life (at least since they started dating in 1986), and even though the couple got engaged in 1992, they have yet to tie the knot. But that's not a sign of trouble; Oprah says that he's one of very few people who get to taste the culinary pièce de résistance of her cooking: The Love Sandwich. "She makes great pancakes, too. She makes great eggs, she makes great steaks—I mean, you could go on and on and on. She's just an exceptional cook and an exceptional person," Stedman raves in a special issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. What can't this woman do? Happy Birthday, Oprah!