Posted: Friday, December 30, 2022. 9:41 pm CST.
Photo Credit: Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutterstock
By Aaron Humes: Television trailblazer Barbara Walters has died at 93, NBC News reports, after a glittering television career spanning two networks.
Her death was confirmed by her representative, Cindi Berger, who said Walters died “peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones.” “She lived her life with no regrets,” Berger added. “She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”
ABC, the network where she last worked, aired a special report Friday night announcing Walters’ death and reflecting on her career.
And what a career it was – starting in 1961 on NBC’s seminal morning program, “Today”, as feature writer, producer and ultimately co-anchor, then continuing on ABC as the first female co-anchor of “World News Tonight”. She then became co-anchor of the evening newsmagazine “20/20” before later co-creating the hit ABC daytime show “The View” – but she is perhaps best known as the pre-eminent feature interviewer on American television, meticulously prepared for every meeting with despots or divas, models or murderers.
It allowed her to boast in 2014 that “I do so much homework, I know more about the person than he or she knows about themselves.”
Along the way she overcame the roadblocks thrown up by a male-dominant industry, playing on her drive and determination along with her compassion for her interviewees.
Walters was born in Boston, the daughter of nightlife impresario Lou Walters, who owned clubs up and down the East Coast.
She married four times to three different men, but her first and forever love remained her fledgling career and all her marriages ended in divorce or in one case, annulment. She adopted one daughter but said she wished she had more children.
She grew to become as much of a celebrity as those she interviewed, famously being lampooned by Gilda Radner on “Saturday Night Live.” On her retirement in 2014, attended by the many who grew up watching her and following her path, she said with satisfaction: “I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain…I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men, too — who will be taking my place.”
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