As the episodes are winding down for The Oprah Winfrey Show, thousands of fans are expected to gather at Chicago's United Center for the taping of a double episode Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular.

Executive producer Sheri Salata had told the Associated Press that celebrity response for the episode has been a resounding 'yes.' Details of the guest line-up have been kept a secret, but many A-list celebrities were expected to attend.

Some of the stars included Madonna, Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks.

Now, Oprah, I know you do not like surprises. Let me see if I can put you at east. There was an English playwright who said there's no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved, and that is what tonight is all about ... pulling off this little show at the United Center has been the best-kept secret, Hanks told the audience.

It was then that Cruise arrived. Cruise is known for declaring his love for Katie Homes on Oprah's couch.

Other celebrities who attended the taping included Halle Berry, Katie Homes, Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, Michael Jordan, Simon Cowell, Jerry Seinfeld, Jamie Foxx, Stevie Wonder, Rosie O'Donnell, Maria Shriver and Maya Angelou.

Beyonce also delivered a performance of her new single Run the World (Girls).

Celebrities from film, television and music feel a deep appreciation for the support they have received from Oprah and the show over the years. Oprah will be very touched by that gratitude, Salata said.

Oprah is in great spirits, energized and taking in every last bit of these final days. ... The producers are a little teary-eyed. It's hard to say goodbye.

Free tickets for the taping were distributed to lucky audience members via a lottery. Reports say that more than 154,000 fans applied for tickets. The double episode will air on May 23 and 24 - the two days before the last-ever show on May 25.