Oprah Winfrey has credited Ellen DeGeneres' success in part to her 1997 announcement that she is gay.

The 54-year-old DeGeneres ranks 47th on Forbes most recent annual The World's 100 Most Powerful Women list and her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is the second-highest-earning syndicated series behind the final season of Winfrey's The Oprah Winfrey Show.

During the fourth season of her ABC comedy sitcom Ellen, DeGeneres publicly announced she is gay. In 2008, she married actress Portia de Rossi during the brief June-to-November window when gay nuptials were legal in California.

Hollywood at first rejected DeGeneres after her coming out. She recently told PARADE that she turned things around by convincing producers that she was “not just gay” but “a funny woman who happens to be gay.”

Winfrey, who guest-starred as DeGeneres' therapist in her sitcom's coming out gay episode, told The Hollywood Reporter that DeGeneres' announcement helped further her career.

“Being able to be free – literally – and to express herself in a way that she can be 100 percent truthful with the audience has allowed them to fall in love with her. Honest-to-God truth: I don't believe she would have been as successful as she has become had she not come out,” said Winfrey.

(Related: Ellen & Portia DeGeneres make Forbes Most Powerful Couples list.)