The View co-hosts praise show’s creator Barbara Walters in touching tribute
Past and present co-hosts of the The View came together to pay tribute to legendary newswoman Barbara Walters for being ‘the original role model for everybody else.’
The Emmy-winning ABC talk show returned from its holiday hiatus Tuesday, for the first new episode since the passing of Walters, who died peacefully at her New York home on Friday at the age of 93. The entire hour was dedicated to Walters, who created the show in 1997 when she was 68 years old.
‘She is the reason we’re all sitting here today,’ Whoopi Goldberg said as the show opened, adding that Walters was respected by the TV industry in part because ‘she did not allow them to not respect her.’
Among those who paid tribute to Walters on Tuesday were The View’s original co-hosts: Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos and Joy Behar.
Walters, who was also the first female co-host of the Today show and first woman to anchor evening news, was affectionately remembered on Tuesday as an unrivaled behind-the-scenes teller of tales, lover of dirty jokes and holiday-time ‘re-gifter.’
Past and present co-hosts of the The View came together to pay tribute to legendary newswoman Barbara Walters. Pictured are co-hosts Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar and Barbara Walters sit on the set on June 5, 2003, in New York
The Emmy-winning ABC talk show returned from its holiday hiatus Tuesday, for the first new episode since the passing of Walters, who died at her New York home on Friday at the age of 93
Behar, Vieira, Jones and Matenopoulos were the original co-hosts with Walters who spent 17 years on the show before she retired in 2014.
On Tuesday, current hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Alyssa Farah Griffin were joined by Vieira, Star Jones, Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Sherri Sheperd and Elisabeth Haselbeck either in-person or virtually for the tribute.
‘We knew her better than anyone, I think,’ Behar said. ‘She was the original role model for everybody else.’
‘She was not just a friend to us, she was really one of a kind and very important to the industry,’ Behar said, adding that Walter ‘defied sexism and ageism’ and recalled the skillful way the legendary interviewer often went ‘into the jaws of the lion.’
Behar shared that Walters pushed the show on a grassroots level, going door-to-door to campaign for the show to be on more channels. After the show became a household name, Walters quickly became known for more than her groundbreaking journalism.
Behar also shared Walters’ secret to being ‘the hardest-working person’ in television, which was: ‘I asked, ‘How come you always get the interview?’ She says, ‘Because I don’t go to the bathroom.”
Whoopi Goldberg, who had said she didn’t know where she’d be without Walters, added: ‘There was nobody like her. There isn’t anyone like her and like all firsts, she’s the first. There are many of us duplicates, but there will never be another Barbara Walters.’
On Tuesday, current hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Alyssa Farah Griffin were joined by Vieira, Star Jones, Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Sherri Sheperd and Elisabeth Haselbeck either in-person or virtually for the tribute
‘She is the reason we’re all sitting here today,’ Whoopi Goldberg said as the show opened, adding that Walters was respected by the TV industry in part because ‘she did not allow them to not respect her’
Behar shared that Walters pushed the show on a grassroots level, going door-to-door to campaign for the show to be on more channels. After the show became a household name, Walters quickly became known for more than her groundbreaking journalism
Meredith Vieira, one of the original hosts, was home sick but phone in her tribute to Walters on Tuesday.
She remembers Walters’ wild sense of humor, her love for dressing up for Halloween and the opportunity to let loose: ‘She could be anything she wanted to be.’
Behar also shared during the show how Walters loved a dirty joke, ‘one in particular that I can’t tell [on TV].’
Vieira said she initially took The View audition because after two decades in TV news, she wanted to spend more time at home with her children.
‘I find myself in this hotel room with you ladies and Barbara Walters. By the time the audition was done, I just wanted in. … It opened the door to so many opportunities and it made me realize, you don’t have to stay on one path in life. … And I owe that to Barbara Walters.’
Vieira also spoke about how Walters always had the best gossip.
‘She could tell you everything about everybody in the room,’ she said. ‘She had either interviewed them, done a story on them, heard a story on them. And she could dish with the best of them. Everybody knows her as the brilliant, iconic journalist … but we got to dish with this woman in ways that other people will never, ever appreciate. She was the best gossiper. She had all the tea.’
‘She could tell you everything about anybody in the room,’ added Jones, who called in from the Bahamas. ‘She was the best gossiper, she knew how to tell tales…If you wanted to know the tea, Barbara Walters had it.’
All the co-hosts who came together on Tuesday spoke of Walters’ tenacity amid sexism and ageism and shared common theme of how the newswoman was their ‘TV mom’ and supported them both professionally and in their personal lives.
Behar, Vieira, Jones and Matenopoulos were the original co-hosts with Walters who spent 17 years on the show before she retired in 2014
Oprah Winfrey penned a tribute to the late journalist on Instagram on Friday, and revealed that she did her ‘first television audition’ with Walters ‘in mind the whole time’
Former President Barack Obama speaks to Barbara Walters during his guest appearance on ABC’s ”The View’ on July 28, 2010, in New York
Lisa ling, who co-hosted from 1999 to 2002, wrote, ‘What an honor it has been to know you and to have been the beneficiary of your titanic spirit and wisdom’
Ling said it was a ‘surreal’ experience to sit next to Walters and thought of her as a mother figure: ‘I believe she thought of us as her kids, her daughters.’
‘My entire life, all I wanted to do was make her proud,’ Matenopoulos said through tears.
Matenopoulos added that Walters taught her the business.
‘I was a 22-year-old journalism student at NYU,’ Matenopoulos said.
She added that Walters’ instructions and advice were essential for the newcomer, including at social functions.
‘Baby, you’re going to wear these shoes,’ Matenopoulos said, using Walters’ nickname for her, ‘and this is what you’re going to say and what you’re not going to say.’
Hostin said Walters always ‘validated my opinion’ and Griffith called her a ‘trailblazer’ and a ‘pioneer.’
Haines added: ‘What she endured, to then make a table for more people to sit at, I think that’s when you sit here and say… I will be forever grateful that she made a seat for us.’
Hasselbeck spoke the close relationship she had with Walters for the 10 years they shared on the air despite their frequent disagreements on the air as being opposite sides of the aisle.
‘She and I had a layered relationship,’ she said. ‘She was my TV mom, my mentor… she was contagiously, compassionately curious. We know how well she researched and she gave her guests a chance to express themselves in a safe way, and we all benefit from that.’
‘She gave me a chance,’ adding that she always ‘put our relationship over the roles that we had.’
While many past and present co-hosts were present for the show on Tuesday whether in studio or virtually, some fans noted that former co-host Rosie O’Donnell was not part of it.
According to O’Donnell’s spokesperson, the actress-comedian was in fact invited to take part in Tuesday’s tribute show.
However, ‘She is on a plane and couldn’t change her schedule,’ the rep told TVline. A View spokesperson confirmed to the outlet that an invitation was indeed extended to O’Donnell.
Former co-host Rosie O’Donnell, who was not on the tribute show Tuesday, shared her own tribute to the newswoman on her Instagram feed
According to O’Donnell’s spokesperson, the actress-comedian was in fact invited to take part in Tuesday’s tribute show
However, ‘She is on a plane and couldn’t change her schedule,’ the rep told TVline . A View spokesperson confirmed to the outlet that an invitation was indeed extended to O’Donnell
Tuesday’s episode ended with a clip from Walters’ own signoff when she left The View in 2014, and an image of her empty chair.
When Walters made her decision to leave the show, she said: ‘How do you create a television show called The View that puts together these wonderful women, all of them over the years, who have shared their contrasting opinions? And finally, how proud when I see all of the young women who are making and reporting the news. If I did anything to help that happen, that’s my legacy.’
ABC broke into its broadcast on Friday to announce Walters’ death on air.
‘She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women,’ her publicist Cindi Berger also said in a statement, adding Walters died peacefully at her New York home.
Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC parent The Walt Disney Company shared the statement: ‘Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself.’
Bob Iger , the CEO of ABC parent The Walt Disney Company said Friday: ‘Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself’
Walters was busy with 20/20 and her specials when The View, she wrote in her 2008 memoir Audition, sneaked up on her in 1997. But ABC daytime network executives came to Walters and her producer Bill Geddie and asked if they had an idea for a show to fill a struggling time slot: 11am. Walters did and The View premiered on August 11, 1997. Above, Walters and George Clooney at a reception after the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner
Barbara Walters published her autobiography, Audition, in 2008, that detailed her long and successful career as well as her personal life. Above, a photo of Jacqueline Danforth and Walters from the 2008 ABC News Special about Walters’ memoir and life
During nearly four decades at ABC, and before that at NBC, Walters´ exclusive interviews with rulers, royalty and entertainers brought her celebrity status that ranked with theirs, while placing her at the forefront of the trend that made stars of TV reporters.
Late in her career, she gave infotainment a new twist with ‘The View,’ a live ABC weekday kaffee klatsch with an all-female panel for whom any topic was on the table and who welcomed guests ranging from world leaders to teen idols. With that side venture and unexpected hit, Walters considered ‘The View’ the ‘dessert’ of her career.
Walters made headlines in 1976 as the first female network news anchor, with an unprecedented $1 million salary that drew gasps. Her drive was legendary as she competed – not just with rival networks, but with colleagues at her own network – for each big ‘get’ in a world jammed with more and more interviewers, including female journalists following in her trail.
In May 2014, she taped her final episode of ‘The View’ amid much ceremony to end a five-decade career in television (although she continued to make occasional TV appearances ).
During a commercial break, a throng of TV newswomen she had paved the way for – including Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts and Connie Chung – posed for a group portrait.
Walters graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1943 and eventually landed a ‘temporary,’ behind-the-scenes assignment at ‘Today’ in 1961.
Shortly afterward, what was seen as the token woman´s slot among the staff´s eight writers opened. Walters got the job and began to make occasional on-air appearances with offbeat stories such as ‘A Day in the Life of a Nun’ or the tribulations of a Playboy bunny. For the latter, she donned bunny ears and high heels to work at the Playboy Club.
One of Walters’ first groundbreaking interviews was with Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1977
The apparent closeness that Walters was able to display towards Castro led to rumors that the pair had a romantic relationship
During the interview, Castro said that he would shave off his famed beard if the US government lifted the trade embargo
She had the first interview with Rose Kennedy after the assassination of her son, Robert, as well as with Princess Grace of Monaco and President Richard Nixon.
She traveled to India with Jacqueline Kennedy, to China with Nixon and to Iran to cover the shah´s gala party. But she faced a setback in 1971 with the arrival of a new host, Frank McGee, who insisted she wait for him to ask three questions before she could open her mouth during interviews with ‘powerful persons.’
By 1976, she had been granted the title of ‘Today’ co-host and was earning $700,000 a year. But when ABC signed her to a $5 million, five-year contract, she was branded the ‘the million-dollar baby.’
ABC News president Roone Arledge moved her out of the co-anchor slot and into special projects. Meanwhile, she found success with her quarterly primetime interview specials.
She became a frequent contributor to newsmagazine ’20/20,’and later co-host. A perennial favorite was her review of the year´s ’10 Most Fascinating People.’
Walters first encountered Donald Trump in an August 1990 interview when the 45th president was still just a New York real estate magnate
Barbara Walters interviewed Donald Trump on his aircraft for ’20/20′
By 2004, when she stepped down from ’20/20,’ she had logged more than 700 interviews, ranging from Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Moammar Gadhafi, to Michael Jackson, Erik and Lyle Menendez and Elton John.
Her two-hour talk with Monica Lewinsky in 1999, timed to the former White House intern´s memoir about her affair with President Bill Clinton, drew more than 70 million viewers.
Walters’ first marriage to businessman Bob Katz was annulled after a year. Her 1963 marriage to theater owner Lee Guber, with whom she adopted a daughter, ended in divorce after 13 years.
Her five-year marriage to producer Merv Adelson ended in divorce in 1990. Walters wrote a bestselling 2008 memoir ‘Audition,’ which caught readers by surprise with her disclosure of a ‘long and rocky affair’ in the 1970s with married U.S. Senator Edward Brooke.
Walters’ interview with Monica Lewinsky in 1999 was one of the highest rated shows in American history, garnering nearly 80 million viewers for ABC’s 20/20
In the interview, Lewinsky apologized to Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and spoke about her regrets at ever getting involved with the then-president
Walters’ self-disclosure reached another benchmark in May 2010 when she made an announcement on ‘The View’ that, days later, she would undergo heart surgery. She would feature her successful surgery – and those of other notables, including Clinton and David Letterman – in a primetime special.
Walters is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline Danforth.
‘I hope that I will be remembered as a good and courageous journalist. I hope that some of my interviews, not created history, but were witness to history, although I know that title has been used,’ Walters told the AP upon her retirement.
‘I think that when I look at what I have done, I have a great sense of accomplishment. I don´t want to sound proud and haughty, but I think I´ve had just a wonderful career and I´m so thrilled that I have.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11595805/The-View-hosts-praise-shows-creator-Barbara-Walters-touching-tribute.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The View co-hosts praise show’s creator Barbara Walters in touching tribute