Oprah Winfrey thanked her mother for not ''getting rid'' of her in their last meeting before she passed away.

The 65-year-old actress and television host lost her mother Vernita Lee in November last year, and Oprah has now said that despite the ''complicated relationship'' she had with her, she wanted to make sure she didn't leave their final conversation on a ''pitiful'' note.

Writing in an essay for 'O, The Oprah Magazine', she said: ''We had a complicated relationship, my mother and I - this I know for sure. Now that she's gone, I understand it more clearly. When I left her on my second visit of the week, I was certain it was the last time I'd see her. Still, I could think of nothing more meaningful to say than 'Goodbye, I'll see you later.' Pitiful for someone who's made a career of connecting with people.''

The 'A Wrinkle in Time' star then realised she needed to visit her mother again before her passing, to make sure she left ''nothing unsaid''.

She added: '''Don't be a hypocrite', I chided myself. If this were anyone else, you'd tell them 'Leave nothing unsaid' - and yet you've said nothing.''

Oprah says she then traveled back to Milwaukee to see Vernita again, and thanked her for not having an abortion or putting her up for adoption, as she had done with her second daughter Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who reunited with her biological mother in 2010.

Recalling what she'd told her mother, the talk show host wrote: ''I know it must have been hard for you as a 17-year-old pregnant, scared girl in Mississippi. Many people no doubt told you to get rid of that baby. To have an abortion or give me away. But you didn't. And for that I thank you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. And for that I thank you. And look how it's all turned out.''