The story goes that when she won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1986 for Prizzi’s Honor, a film directed by her late father, John Huston, the actress happened to beat the underdog of the season that seemingly everyone was gunning for: Oprah Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple.
After being prompted to discuss if there were any “repercussions” for beating Winfrey at the Oscars that year, Huston responded candidly. “She never had me on her show, ever. She won’t talk to me,” she said, before launching into an anecdote about the only time she’s ever met Winfrey. “The only encounter I’ve had with Oprah was when I was at a party for the Academy Awards, a private residence. I was talking to Clint Eastwood, and she literally came between us with her back to me. So all of the sudden I was confronted with the back of Oprah’s head.”
This wasn’t the only supposed beef that stemmed from the mainstream success of The Color Purple in the mid-’80s. There was, of course, the assumed feud between Winfrey and the film’s star, Whoopi Goldberg, but that hatchet was buried during one of the final seasons of Winfrey’s daytime talk show. Still, it was decades before Goldberg appeared on Winfrey’s show to clear the air about their misunderstanding that was perceived as a falling out.
Huston admitted, however, that regardless of whether or not the two have beef 33 years later and whether or not they will reconcile, she respects the scope of Winfrey’s impact. “Well, nobody else would dislike me so much as to literally, physically come in between the person I was talking with that way,” she said. “But I admire Oprah. God knows, she’s made some big steps.”
Related: Anjelica Huston: A Story Told