Oprah Winfrey says Tina Turner turned down a role in The Color Purple
As the world mourns rock n' roll legend Tina Turner, so too does her longtime fan and friend, Oprah Winfrey. Throughout their careers, the two women often crossed paths and according to a recent revelation from Winfrey, they almost shared the screen as costars in the 1985 classic The Color Purple.
Prior to Turner's passing, at the trailer launch attended by EW, Winfrey recalled the story of when Turner was offered a role in the original film. "I remember hearing this from [producer] Quincy Jones years ago, that they had originally gone to Tina Turner in 1985 to ask Tina Turner to play Shug Avery," said Winfrey.
"Tina Turner turned down the role of Shug Avery because she said she'd already lived it with Ike [Turner]. And she was not gonna put herself through it again," Winfrey added. The role went instead to Margaret Avery and in the 2023 remake, will be filled by Taraji P. Henson.
Turner was known for making momentous contributions to raising awareness about domestic abuse. After splitting from him both personally and professionally, Tina Turner spoke out about the violence inflicted by her ex-husband and former musical partner Ike Turner. "Once she claimed her freedom from years of domestic abuse, her life became a clarion call for triumph," Winfrey wrote on Wednesday, in an Instagram post remembering Tina. "I'm grateful for her courage, for showing us what victory looks like wearing Manolo's and a leather miniskirt."
Paying tribute to her longtime friend, Winfrey shared a slideshow of the duo throughout the years, adding, "I started out as a fan of Tina Turner, then a full-on groupie, following her from show to show around the country, and then, eventually, we became real friends. She is our forever goddess of rock 'n' roll who contained a magnitude of inner strength that grew throughout her life."
Winfrey closed the post by writing: "I am a better woman, a better human, because her life touched mine. She was indeed simply the best."
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