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Final Episode of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' Airs Wednesday

Barry Brecheisen/WireImage(CHICAGO) -- After 25 years, The Oprah Winfrey Show ends its run on Wednesday.

The 4,561st and final episode, recorded Tuesday in Chicago, had no guests -- just Oprah Winfrey taking a stroll down memory lane, according to the Chicago Tribune, which spoke with some audience members afterward.

Jessica Llamas said Winfrey opened the show by telling the audience that the episode was a "letter to all her viewers."  Another audience member, Curt Evrard, said Winfrey focused in part on the serious topics her show has explored through the years, including child abuse and molestation.  His wife, Tammy Evrard, paraphrasing Winfrey, said the daytime queen encouraged the crowd to "be a beacon for other people" now that she has ended her talk show.

The taping reportedly ended with Winfrey thanking the viewers and staff before tearfully walking past the crowd.  She was then seen on a screen in the studio kicking off her shoes in her office and picking up her dog.

The finale lacked the star power of the two-part tribute to Winfrey that aired Monday and Tuesday, though Maria Shriver, Tyler Perry, and actress Cicely Tyson were in the audience.  Winfrey's longtime partner, Stedman Graham, and her best friend, Gayle King, also were there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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