A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Friday honoring Dr. Mehmet Oz, a four-time Emmy-winning talk show host in a broadcasting career that began at the urging of his wife.
Actor Dean Cain was among those joining Oz in speaking at the ceremony in front of the Eastown apartment complex on Hollywood Boulevard.
The star is the 2,712th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
“As a heart surgeon, this was not on my vision board,” Oz said during the midday ceremony. “Heart surgeons, they don’t really feel at home in Hollywood. I’ve never lived in Hollywood, I never desired to be in Hollywood. Service to me was healing with steel, which is what we call the scalpels that come in some handy.”
But he said that all changed at the urging of his wife, Lisa, who encouraged him to take his message of preventative medicine to the public.
“She was saying, `The patients you’re operating on, if they just knew a little bit of what you know in medicine about their own health, they would actually not have to come to the operating room. You could preemptively help them understand stuff that would change their lives for the better,”’ he said.
Oz’s television career began in 2003 with “Second Opinion with Dr. Oz” on the now-defunct Discovery Health Channel.
Oz’s first guest was Oprah Winfrey.
“Her producers liked me and the result so much that they invited me onto her show,” Oz told City News Service in an email interview. “We created over 60 shows together until she urged me to launch `The Dr. Oz Show’ to help Americans become their own best patient and advocate.”
“The Dr. Oz Show” premiered on Sept. 14, 2009. It received 10 consecutive Daytime Emmy Award nominations for outstanding informative talk show from 2010-19, wining five times, most recently in 2018.
Both its number of nominations and victories are records in the category, first awarded in 2008 following the split of the outstanding talk show category into the outstanding entertainment talk show and outstanding informative talk show categories.
Oz received nominations for outstanding informative talk show host in each of the first five years of the category, 2015-2019, winning in 2016. He also received five consecutive nominations as outstanding talk show host from 2010-14, winning in 2010, 2011 and 2014, before the category was split into outstanding informative talk show host and outstanding entertainment talk show host.
When asked what he considered the highlight or highlights of his broadcasting career, Oz said, “I educated Americans that they can be world experts on their bodies, empowering people to live the good life, to live their very best lives, to eat better, exercise more, stress less and meditate has saved countless lives.”
“The Dr. Oz Show” ended its run on Jan. 14 after Oz announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.
“Leaving the show and my many close friends on the staff was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but it was the necessary next step in my journey by helping address the crises facing our nation,” Oz said.
Oz continued his work as a cardiothoracic surgeon while hosting his show.
Born in Cleveland and raised in Delaware, Oz received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1982 and a joint medical and master’s of business administration from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School in 1986.
Oz said his path to becoming a doctor began when he was 7 years old and was waiting in line at an ice cream shop with his father Mustafa, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
“My father asked me what I wanted to become, with the advice that I could always change my mind but needed to aim at a target to hit it,” Oz said. “I loved watching him take care of patients, so picked his profession of medicine and never changed my mind.”