Barbara Walters was a broadcasting pioneer, interviewing dozens of famous faces from former President Richard Nixon to pop star Taylor Swift.
“I do my homework, so I have a certain sense of authority,” the former View cohost — who died on December 30, 2022, at the age of 93 — exclusively told Us Weekly in May 2014 of preparing for her sit-downs. “Sometimes I know more about the person than they do themselves. I’m very rarely nervous. When I finish an interview, I do ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda,’ and it drives me crazy, but when I’m actually doing the interview, I’m fine in authority and that’s a good feeling.”
Walters got her start on NBC’s Today Show in 1961, where she was quickly tasked with handling lighthearted stories and weather reports. Within one year, she became the broadcast’s reporter-at-large and began conducting serious interviews. The Boston native went on to helm the ABC Evening News, 20/20 and The View.
Within Walters’ six decades of reporting experience, she has interviewed the likes of Nixon, Fidel Castro, Christopher Reeve and Monica Lewinsky, the latter of which saw a record-breaking 74 million viewers tune in.
Lewinsky, the former White House intern who notably had an affair with Bill Clinton while he was the President of the United States, sat down with Walters in 1999 to discuss her side of the story.
“I knew Barbara for over half of my life. We met in the spring of 1998, in the midst of the Starr investigation; I was 24. I remarked that this was the first time I’d ever been in serious trouble,” the San Francisco native wrote via Twitter in December 2022, shortly after news broke of Walters’ death. “I’d basically been a good kid — got good grades, didn’t do drugs, never shoplifted etc. Without missing a beat, Barbara said: ‘Monica, next time shoplift.’”
She continued: “We stayed in touch over the past 25 years. The last time we saw each other was for lunch a few years ago. Of course, she was charming, witty and some of her questions were still her signature interview style: ‘So tell me, Monica, how do you feel … etc etc.’ She was the very first person with whom I ever sat for a television interview … and will certainly be my most memorable. Barbara will be missed by many — including me.”
Walters was also known for hosting an annual special, titled Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People, where she spoke with an array of public figures before the end of the calendar year.
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Scroll below to revisit the late journalistic icon’s memorable interviews through the years: