Barbara Walters Dead at 93: The View Stars & Others Mourn Icon

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Barbara Walters Dead at 93

The View co-hosts, past and present, are honoring late legendary journalist Barbara Walters, who blazed a trail for them and other women in broadcasting.

Walters, the ABC daytime talk show’s creator and main star, died at age 93 on Dec. 30 at her home in New York. While younger generations may know the TV icon from The View, she leaves behind a larger legacy: She was the first woman to anchor an evening news broadcast and became known as one of the most high-profile interviewers.

“What a long and eventful, legendary life she had,” Rosie O’Donnell, who co-hosted The View between 2006 and 2007 and again between 2014 and 2015, said in a TikTok video. “Spoke to every prominent world leader. Interviewed everyone who is anyone. And I was lucky enough to be in her orbit for a good many years.”

In addition to O’Donnell, Walters also received heartfelt tributes from other The View alumni, such as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Star Jones and Lisa Ling, current co-hosts such as Sunny Hostin, as well as well as top female TV news personalities such as the Today show’s Hoda Kotb and Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts.

Walters retired in 2014 after more than 50 years in broadcasting. On her last day at The View table, surprise guest Oprah Winfrey welcomed in more than 20 prominent female journalists and TV personalities who literally lined up inside the studio to express their thanks to Walters. Videos of the powerful TV tribute went viral after her death.

“Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me—nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “She was indeed a Trailblazer.”

See more tributes to Walters below:

Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage

Rosie O’Donnell

“Very sad to hear about Barbara Walters passing,” the former The View panelist, who co-hosted the show between 2006 and 2007 and again between 2014 and 2015, said in a TikTok video. “Although, 93, man. Who wouldn’t take that? What a long and eventful, legendary life she had. Spoke to every prominent world leader. Interviewed everyone who is anyone. And I was lucky enough to be in her orbit for a good many years.”

O’Donnell continued, “We saw a lot of Broadway shows together, and whenever we’d go backstage, I’d like, try to help her over the steps backstage and she would always smack my hand and tell me to leave her alone. She knew what she was doing. I can tell you that. May she rest in peace and may everyone remember just what barriers she broke down for women. She really did. She was the first, and will always be remembered.”

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Star Jones

“I owe Barbara Walters more than I could ever repay,” the original The View cast member, who co-hosted the show between 1997 and 2006, tweeted. “Rest well sister…mother…friend…colleague…mentor.”

Gregory Pace/FilmMagic

Elisabeth Hasselbeck

“Today- Heaven welcomed my mentor and friend. And my TV mom,” the Survivor alum and TV personality, who co-hosted The View between 2003 and 2013, wrote on Instagram. “I love you Barbara.”

Instagram / Debbie Matenopoulos

Debbie Matenopoulos

The TV journalist and original The View cast member, who starred on the show between 1997 and 2006, wrote on Instagram, “I was 22 years old when you chose me to sit next to you on The View and you changed my life forever. When we first met you asked me who the 3 most important people of the last century were. I told you Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and Madonna. You laughed out loud and said, ‘You can’t be serious. You are going to be perfect for our show.'”

She continued, “You taught me everything I know about interviewing people and about doing live TV. You taught me how to be professional on a set and in just about any life situation I could ever be in. I learned so much simply by watching you and being in your presence. You always gave 100 percent and you expected nothing less from any of us. You are and you will forever be my fairy godmother and my hero.”

Matenopoulos said Walters is “THE reason any female journalist and any female tv personality for that matter has the opportunities they have today.” She wrote, “You broke glass ceilings. You paved the way. You didn’t accept things simply for how they were so you changed them. We as women owe you so much.”

Matenopoulos continued, “But I in particular, owe you everything. Thank you for taking a chance on a young Greek immigrant girl studying journalism at NYU. You are a legend. You are an icon. And you were also an amazingly funny, charming, witty friend. You will be so missed. May you rest in peace and pride. You were one of one Barbara Walters and I love you dearly. Until we meet again.”

Myrna Suarez/Getty Images

Meredith Vieira

“Barbara Walters blazed the trail for every newswoman and we will forever follow in her footsteps,” tweeted the TV journalist and original The View cast member, who starred on the show between 1997 and 2006. “May she Rest In Peace.”

Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Ana Navarro

The TV commentator and current The View co-host tweeted, “Thank you for opening doors, breaking barriers, shattering glass-ceilings and making it possible for so many of us to stand on shout shoulders. Rest in Power, #BarbaraWalters.”

Ida Mae Astute/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Rosie Perez

The actress, who was a co-host on The View between 2014 and 2015, wrote on Instagram, “An amazing woman. Amazing loss. Shattering the glass ceiling is a huge understatement. She decimated it. Paved the way for so many. I feel very proud/humble to have known her & to have worked with her. Condolences to her loved ones & the entire @TheView family. #RIPBarbaraWalters.”

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre

Sunny Hostin

“I am in Ghana, Africa and still learned the sad news of my mentor and colleague,” the current The View co-host wrote on Instagram. “The world has lost a remarkable woman today. I am heartbroken to hear of Barbara’s passing.”

Hostin continued, “She was an extraordinary, meticulous and no-nonsense journalist with a wicked sense of humor. She shattered countless glass ceilings and did it with grace and humility. While I’m deeply saddened by this loss and will miss her terribly, I’m forever grateful for the trails she blazed for me and so many others. I’m humbled and honored to carry on her legacy. Rest in Power.”

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

Sherri Shepherd

“So… so many things I could say about Barbara Walters,” the talk show host, who co-hosted The View between 2007 and 2014, wrote on Instagram. “Barbara was tough on me, but she was tough on those she loved. Barbara gave me a chance to grow. She encouraged me (no… she TOLD me) to speak up or be left behind. She told me to never take No for an answer.”

She continued, “Barbara constantly loved on my son Jeffrey (kids were not allowed in her dressing room, but Jeffrey was always welcome & he made her smile). Whenever Barbara came into my dressing room and imperiously said ‘Sherri I want to have dinner with you’, I quaked in my 6″ stilletos wondering what trouble I was in this time. But once we got to the restaurant, Barbara held my hand & we laughed all nite long.”

Shepherd said she told Walters she “always wanted to end our evening with a sleepover in matching pj’s,” adding, “you can imagine the look on her face. She also recalled working with Elisabeth Hasselbeck during her time on The View. “@elisabethhasselbeck & I were like Barbara’s naughty teenage daughters,” she said. “We were always saying something that got us in trouble and Barbara was the Mother Lion always defending us.”

Shepherd continued, “Thank you Barbara for giving a shy girl who didn’t like to debate a seven year chance of a lifetime. You believing in me has changed my life. Thank you for allowing me to find my voice and encouraging me to fly. You were my Teacher, my Mother and my Friend. I love you Lady #myhearthurts #barbarawalters #rip #savorthememories #takealittletimetoenjoytheview #helloimbarbarawalters.”

Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Nicolle Wallace

The TV journalist tweeted, “She was the best + one thing I haven’t seen her honored for is this: she was the first person on the phone with advice and support when you fell down on the job – she called and offered me the best professional advice of my life and offered to call my boss when I needed it most!”

Instagram / Lisa Ling

Lisa Ling

“You paved the way for all of us, dear Barbara,” the TV personality, who was a co-host on the View between 1999 and 2002, wrote on Instagram. “What an honor it has been to know you and to have been the beneficiary of your titanic spirit and wisdom.”

Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images

Jenny McCarthy

“My Dear Barbara, Thank you for your love, guidance, support, nurturing and for making a seat for me at ‘the table,'” the TV personality, who was a co-host on The View between 2013 and 2014, said on Instagram. “Your impact on the world is immeasurable. Your impact on me will never be forgotten. You will forever be an icon, in every sense of the word, and a most beloved friend to me. Love you always, Jenny. Rest peacefully. #ripbarbarawalters.”

Virginia Sherwood/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey

“Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me—nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “She was indeed a Trailblazer. I did my very first television audition with her in mind the whole time.”

She continued, “Grateful that she was such a powerful and gracious role model. Grateful to have known her. Grateful to have followed in her Light.”

Instagram / Barbara Walters

Katie Couric

“Barbara Walters was the OG of female broadcasters,” she said. “She was just as comfortable interviewing world leaders as she was Oscar winners and her body of work is unparalleled. I was a lucky recipient of her kindness and encouragement.”

Couric continued, “When I landed a big (impromptu) interview with President Bush, she wrote me a note that I still have framed in my office: Dear Katie, You were terrific with Mrs. Bush (you knew far more than she did) and nabbing the President was a real coup. You are so darn good! Bravo! Barbara.”

Couric said, “As I wrote in my book, she liked to say we were similar—that neither of us was particularly glamorous. I never quite knew how to take that! But the fact that Barbara saw some of her on me was nothing but a compliment. Thank you for everything, Barbara. #RIP.”

Helen Healey/NBC

Hoda Kotb

The Today show co-anchor wrote on Instagram, “So sad to hear about the passing of Barbara Walters..she was the first…she blazed the trail– she kicked the door down.. so we could walk through. Thank you. RIP.”

Ida Mae Astute/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Robin Roberts

“Barbara Walters was a true trailblazer,” the Good Morning America co-anchor tweeted. “Forever grateful for her stellar example and for her friendship. Sending condolences to her daughter and family.”

Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images

Meghan McCain

The TV personality, who co-hosted The View between 2017 and 2021—years after Walters retired, wrote on Instagram, “Barbara Walters will always be known as a trail blazer. Her hard hitting questions & welcoming demeanor made her a household name and leader in American journalism. She was the ultimate ceiling breaker for women in television for which we all were lucky enough to follow.”

McCain added, “Her creation of The View is something I will always be appreciative of. Rest in peace, you will forever be an icon.”

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