Sally Jessy Raphael Says Her Talk Show Was Cancelled After 19 Years Because She Was Secretly Battling Cancer

Television legend Sally Jessy Raphael just spoke out to say that she believes her talk show was cancelled after 19 years because she was secretly battling cancer.

Raphael’s hit show “Sally” was one of the most popular program’s on TV until it was cancelled in 2002. Though she admits her show was struggling against it’s competitors, the 84 year-old thinks it was her age and a health scare that ultimately caused network bosses to cancel it.

“All they needed was a 60-year-old that might have cancer. I was stupid enough to tell them,” she said.

In a new wide-ranging interview, Raphael said that she has major regrets about not pushing back against her producers during her show’s run, saying they “absolutely betrayed” her. Since she was competing against talk show hosts like Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, Raphael was pressured into running similar segments as them, something that she regrets doing.

“What strikes me, on those shows, ‘who is your baby daddy’… It’s extremely demeaning,” she said.

Raphael explained that she was pressured into doing these shows because producers took advantage of the fact that she wanted to have a reputation of being easy to work with.

When asked about today’s talk shows, Raphael said that none of them seem like real talk shows to her.

“Those are game shows.  Ellen bounces a lot and she’s the best of the bunch,” she said. “A talk show is serious, it’s about timing, it’s informational.”

Raphael went on to say that the three most important things talk show hosts should have are experience, a large, colorful vocabulary and timing, adding most talk show hosts today do not have the last one.

“The most important thing is timing,” she said. “You need to know when to hold, when to fold.”

These days, Raphael spends much of her time at her home in upstate New York with her husband of 56 years Karl Soderlund, who lovingly refers to Sally as Red.  She said that she stays busy by being Karl’s caretaker and reading a book a day.

Raphael concluded the interview by saying that she does not think of herself as a legend.

“What makes me proud is the number of people over the years, and today, who say I helped them, I changed their lives,” she said. “How can you not be slightly tickled by having people love you?”

Check out her new interview below.

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