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A Tearful Oprah Winfrey Emotionally Remembers Her 'Role Model' Mary Tyler Moore

| Filed under: TV NewsR.I.P.Oprah WinfreySad SadMary Tyler MooreGIFsGirl Power

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Oprah Winfrey credits the late, great Mary Tyler Moore with inspiring her to create her own talk show.

And without Oprah's empire that resulted from her doing so… we have no idea where we'd be!

So you can understand why the unexpected passing of the The Mary Tyler Moore Show star at the age of 80 really pulled at the 62-year-old's heartstrings.

Related: Mary Tyler Moore's Best TV & Movie Moments!

ICYMI, the legendary actress died on Wednesday from cardiopulmonary arrest after she had contracted pneumonia.

Speaking with ET, the talk show host got choked up discussing Moore's legacy:

"What I'm grateful for is that, in my lifetime, I was able to share with her what her presence in television had meant to me as a young, growing, aspiring reporter. It's the first time that I can recall a public figure in recent years passing — and we've lost so many people recently — where I actually sat down and shed tears about it."

Adding:

"Mary Tyler Moore first gave me the idea that you can own your own show and produce it. She was the one. So, when I say that she had a powerful influence on me, it wasn't just being that iconic figure that was women in the workforce, doing the same job I was doing, working in news as a journalist, in a newsroom, and who was single and really OK with it. Every episode wasn't about trying to find a man, it was about trying to find your way in life. She paved the way through storytelling for women. and was a value system for women without even knowing it. So, her legacy will live on in ways I know the creators of [The Mary Tyler Moore Show] never even imagined."

One of our favorite moments between the two stars was when the Ordinary People star surprised the author on her own show back in 1997 (above).

Winfrey said of that moment:

"It's the time I coined the 'ugly cry,' and I went into double, triple overtime ugly cry. After that I said, 'Never again!' I called all my producers together — and that was in 1997 — I said, 'Never again will I be surprised on the show, and if I'm ever surprised on the show, it will cost whoever produced that show their job.' Because I could not speak, hear or think! It made the moment even better."

Listen to Oprah's full emotional reaction (below)!

What a beautiful relationship.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those still reeling from the star's passing.

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