U.S TV journalist Barbara Walters bids farewell after 53-year career

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Pioneering U.S. journalist Barbara Walters, who paved the way for women in television news and was the first female to co-anchor a network evening news program, retired today after an illustrious 53-year career.

The 84-year-old TV newswoman bid farewell on “The View,” the morning talk show she created in 1997 during a career that spanned events ranging from President Richard Nixon’s historic journey to China in 1972 to interviews with several generations of celebrities and world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama.

Walters, whose work won several Emmy awards, joked that she would now have time to have Botox and may be available for supermarket openings. On a serious note, she added that she was proudest of how more women are now reporting the news.

“If I did anything to help that happen that is my legacy,” she said. “Who knows what the future brings? Maybe instead of goodbye, I should say a bientot, which in French means see you later.”

Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters

A roster of women journalists joined Walters on the show to praise her achievements. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also appeared, as did actor Michael Douglas and TV host and media company owner Oprah Winfrey.

“Like everyone else I want to thank you for being a pioneer, in everything that word means,” Winfrey told Walters. “It means being the first … to knock down the door, to break down the barrier, to pave the road that we all walk on.”

The show culminated a week of events including a get-together in New York that included former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, director Woody Allen and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

The news building of the ABC television network, a unit of Walt Disney Co., was named in her honor. Present and past co-hosts of “The View” reunited to toast her on Thursday. ABC will also air a news special about her story on Friday evening.

Walters revealed her plans to retire a year earlier saying it was her decision. The announcement followed some health problems, including a concussion after fainting and hitting her head, chickenpox and open heart surgery in 2010.

Walters has interviewed every U.S. president since Richard Nixon and world leaders including Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. She was famous for her probing style, getting that important first interview with newsmakers.

She was also known for a lisp that prompted the famous “Baba Wawa” parody by the late comedian Gilda Radner on the “Saturday Night Live,” comedy show.

Walters was hired as a researcher and writer on NBC’s “Today” show in 1961 before becoming a co-host in 1974. She moved to ABC in 1976 and was a also correspondent on the network’s news magazine show “20/20.” Walters also hosted specials and a yearly show about her 10 most fascinating people.

Latest in Entertainment

50 Cent

50 Cent arrested in St Kitts over foul language

(Barbados Nation) BASSETERRE – America rapper 50 Cent was arrested here early Sunday following his performance at the St Kitts Music Festival late Saturday.

udta

Bollywood film exposes plight of women trapped in India’s drug trade

MUMBAI, (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new Bollywood film gives a rare glimpse into the exploitation and enslavement of women in India’s drug trade, highlighting how the stigma surrounding women drug users leaves them vulnerable to abuse.

Salman Khan

Bollywood actor Salman Khan in hot water over rape remark

MUMBAI,  (Reuters) – Bollywood movie star Salman Khan ran afoul of a national women’s group, film critics and Twitter users today after saying that training sessions for his new film made him feel like a “raped woman”.

dory

‘Finding Dory’ Scores Record $136.2 Million opening

LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Family audiences turned out in droves over the weekend, propelling “Finding Dory” to a massive $136.2 million debut and establishing a new record for an animated film opening.

Anton Yelchin

Actor Anton Yelchin of ‘Star Trek’ killed in freak accident

(Reuters) – Anton Yelchin, a 27-year-old actor best known for playing the character Chekov in two “Star Trek” movies, was killed early on Sunday when his car rolled and pinned him against a wall in his driveway, police said.

Cliff Richard

UK singer Cliff Richard will not face sex crime charges

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Singer Cliff Richard, one of Britain’s best-known entertainers, will not face charges over alleged historical sex crimes because there is not enough evidence, prosecutors said today.

30million

Film links melting glaciers, land loss in Bangladesh

UNITED NATIONS,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Melting ice in Antarctica puts as many as 30 million people in Bangladesh at risk of losing their homes over the coming century, according to a new documentary focused on the human cost of climate change.

The cast and crew of "Hamilton" arrive for the 2016 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Reception in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Smash hit ‘Hamilton’ sweeps Tonys with 11 wins during sombre ceremony

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – “Hamilton”, the pop culture phenomenon based on U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton, swept the Tonys on Sunday, winning 11 of Broadway’s top awards including best musical, best actor, best direction and best score and book for creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: