Oprah Winfrey returns to series TV in a recurring role in “Greenleaf” (premiering June 21 on OWN), a drama set in a Memphis megachurch. Here are five other times we’ve seen Winfrey on the small screen (non-talk-show-related, of course):
BREWSTER PLACE (1990) In this warmhearted drama set in 1967, Winfrey starred as Mattie Michael, a strong-willed woman trying to navigate the daily hazards of inner-city life. It was a spinoff of Winfrey’s 1989 TV movie, “The Women of Brewster Place” (based on Gloria Naylor’s novel).
THERE ARE NO CHILDREN HERE (1993) In this powerful movie based on Alex Kotlowitz’s nonfiction best-seller, Winfrey played the mother of two boys growing up in a drug-and-crime-riddled Chicago housing project.
ELLEN (1997) Winfrey played the therapist of Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres) in the landmark episode in which Ellen came out as gay.
BEFORE WOMEN HAD WINGS (1997) In this TV movie adapted from Connie May Fowler’s novel, Winfrey plays Zora, a woman who helps a white girl (Tina Majorino) deal with her father’s suicide and get away from her abusive, alcoholic mother (Ellen Barkin).
30 ROCK (2008) In one of the show’s most memorable moments, Liz Lemon (Tiny Fey) sits next to Winfrey on a flight and proceeds to unburden herself to the talk-show host. Unfortunately, Liz was heavily sedated and Oprah turned out to be an hallucination. In reality, Liz’s seatmate was a 12-year-old girl.