Dr. Phil Writes Oprah Winfrey Yearly Thank You Notes For Changing His Life

The 'Dr. Phil' show host made the revelation during an appearance on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show' Tuesday.

Dr. Phil McGraw is still saying thank you to Oprah Winfrey, nearly 26 years after the pair first met. On Tuesday's The Kelly Clarkson Show, McGraw told Clarkson that he still writes the hosting legend yearly letters, thanking her for the impact she has had on his career.

"Oprah and I met in the late '90s when she was in trial, and I was on the trial team, then I started doing the show, and started doing the show a lot, and then we launched the show, and it really changed my life a lot," McGraw shared, detailing his journey from meeting Winfrey to appearing on her show, and eventually launching a show of his own.

He continued, "I had a great life when I met her, and I've got a great life now, but she changed a lot of things."

The tradition of thanking Winfrey for essentially giving him his start on TV, is something that's been going on for nearly 26 years.

"It's just been really important to me, every year to stop, sit down and write her a letter, and say, 'Thank you for the impact you've had on me and my family,'" McGraw said. "And I've done it every year for 25 or 26 years."

Surprisingly, McGraw's thank you notes and kind gestures are a rare thing for Winfrey to receive, with the Dr. Phil show host telling Clarkson that Winfrey was taken aback by McGraw's gratitude. 

"She told me something one time -- the first time I launched a book on her show, I sent her a huge flower arrangement and a thank you note and stuff. I think she had been on the air 17 years at that point, and called me and said, 'You know, out of all the things that I've done, all the books and stuff, this is the first time anybody has ever said thank you.'"

While it was hard to believe for McGraw too, it's a sentiment he can now understand after having his own talk show for 20 years.

"And now I've had my show for 20 years, I understand what she means," McGraw added.

The letters are all part of a value he said he holds dear: "don't forget who brung you to the dance."

"I've got this value, 'don't forget who brung you to the dance,' and I've never let her think I forgot who brung me to the dance."

This is not the first time McGraw has sung Winfrey's praises. Back in 2020, McGraw once again thanked Winfrey for giving him his start, telling ET, "She truly has been a mentor, and you cannot overestimate the power of Oprah. But the real value, is having the friendship with Oprah. She's just been a great friend and a great supporter to both Robin and me, and my whole family."

The Kelly Clarkson Show airs Monday to Friday. Check here for local listings.

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