Friday, July 17, 2009
Oprah 101: Who is Harpo?
Besides the silent Marx brother, Harpo is also the name of Oprah Winfrey’s multi-media production company. Harpo Productions is based in Chicago and comprised of three major divisions – the TV production studio (Harpo Studios), the film production company (Harpo Films) and the radio division (Harpo Radio, Inc).
Harpo Films has generated movies such as The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Harpo Radio, Inc. is responsible for Oprah & Friends which can be found on XM satellite radio. And of course, Harpo Studios produces The Oprah Winfrey Show along with Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray.
Harpo also happens to be the name of Sofia’s husband from the Alice Walker novel, The Color Purple. Oprah portrayed Sofia in the 1985 movie adaptation. And “Oprah” spelled backwards is “Harpo”. Coincidence?
Another interesting piece of trivia according to Wikipedia is that Harpo Studios now stands at the site that was once a cold storage warehouse used as a makeshift morgue for victims of the capsized ship, the SS Eastland.
Immediately after the Eastland tragedy, the corpses were brought to the 2nd Regiment Armory until they were identified and released to the families. Today, the armory is part of Oprah Winfrey's HARPO Studios. However, ghost stories from the armory rank it among the most haunted sites in America.
Many employees have had strange encounters that cannot be explained, including the sighting of an apparition that has been dubbed the “Gray Lady”. Staff members hear whispering voices, the laughter of children, sobbing sounds, old-time music, the clinking of phantom glasses and marching of invisible footsteps.
Oprah did a show in 1996 about the hauntings at her studio but doesn’t discuss the topic anymore.
at 5:51 AM