Entertainment

Dr. Phil McGraw praises Oprah at star ceremony

HOLLYWOOD — Emmy-nominated talk show host Phil McGraw said he was “happier than a rabbit in a carrot patch” as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring him was unveiled Feb. 21.

McGraw went on to thank his wife Robin, legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey, former Paramount Domestic Television programming president Greg Meidel, executive producer Carla Pennington and the entire staff of McGraw’s eponymous talk show, “Dr. Phil,” for making his success possible.

McGraw said his wife has attended the tapings of each of the more than 3,100 episodes of “Dr. Phil,” calling her “a vital part” of the show.

McGraw praised Winfrey for “launching and mentoring me and moving me forward.”

“You cannot understand the power of the O factor,” McGraw said. “There would be no Dr. Phil without Oprah.”

Actor/writer/producer/director Tyler Perry and country singer Ronnie Dunn preceded McGraw in speaking at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Eastown apartment complex on Hollywood Boulevard.

Born in Vinita, Oklahoma, on Sept. 1, 1950, the son of an oil field equipment supplier-turned-psychologist, McGraw played middle linebacker for the University of Tulsa before transferring to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

McGraw received a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas, then practiced clinical psychology and developed one of the nation’s first multi-modal protocols for the treatment of chronic pain.

In 1990, McGraw co-founded the legal consulting firm Courtroom Sciences, Inc. His work at CSI inspired the CBS drama “Bull,” which McGraw co-created and on which he is an executive producer.

Winfrey hired McGraw’s firm to prepare her for what became known as the Amarillo Texas beef trial, where she and a guest on her show were sued under Texas’ food disparagement law for comments about beef in relation to mad cow disease.

Following Winfrey’s victory in the case, she invited McGraw to appear on her show. His appearance led to weekly appearances as a relationship and life strategy expert beginning in 1998.

“Dr. Phil,” made its debut in 2002, initially co-produced by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. It is now produced by McGraw’s Peteski Productions and CBS Television Distribution.

“Dr. Phil” has been the top-rated daytime talk show for the last seven years. It has received 29 Emmy nominations, including nine for outstanding talk show and four for McGraw as outstanding talk show host.

The show has won five PRISM Awards for the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse and addiction, and a media award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

McGraw was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2015.

McGraw is the author of nine New York Times No. 1 bestsellers, published in 39 languages with more than 33 million copies in print.

Independent Wire Services