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Rachael Ray

Sometimes it seems as if Rachael Ray is everywhere, and you can thank Oprah for that.

The bubbly chef hit the big time by cooking 30-minute meals on the Food Network. Her mass appeal caught Oprah's eye and, in 2006, the Rachael Ray Show debuted on CBS, backed by Harpo Productions, among others. Hers was the most successful syndicated daytime talk show since -- who else? -- Dr. Phil.

Ray still hosts three shows on the Food Network in addition to her daily syndicated show, and she regularly appears on Oprah. In 2007, she launched a magazine called Every Day with Rachael Ray. She's published several cookbooks and has put her namesake on everything from cookware to olive oil to dog food.

In an interview with Television Week in 2007, Ray discussed Oprah's influence on her career, saying the only piece of advice Oprah ever gave her was to "be yourself."

It may not appeal to everyone, but it seems to have worked.

NEXT: Suze Orman

Last updated September 30 2010: 12:59 PM ET
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