“You can’t forget I’m there when I’ve got lights in your face, and cameras whirring, and you perspire. To get these people to forget there are lights — these people who are actors — to get them to be introspective . . . To get that humor? When there’s no audience? Because I tell the crew before the taping, `I don’t care how funny they are, I don’t want any laughter. This is between the two of us.’ The audience at home must feel as we feel”.
Barbara Jill Walters
Born September 25, 1929 is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. Walters is known for having hosted a variety of television programs, including Today, The View, 20/20, and the ABC Evening News. Since retirement as a full-time host and contributor, she has continued to occasionally report for ABC News.
Walters first became known as a television personality in the early 1960’s, when she was a writer and segment producer of “women’s interest stories” on the NBC News morning program The Today Show, where she began work with host Hugh Downs. As a result of her outstanding interviewing ability and her popularity with viewers, she received more airtime on the program. Even though her production duties made her a significant contributor to the program, she had no input in choosing a successor for Downs when he left in 1971, and Frank McGee was hired. In 1974, at the time of McGee’s death, Walters became co-host of the program, the first woman to hold such a title on an American news program.
In 1976, continuing as a pioneer for women in broadcasting, she became the first female co-anchor of a network evening news, working with Harry Reasoner on the ABC News flagship program, the ABC Evening News, earning an unprecedented US$1 million per year.
From 1979 to 2004, she worked as co-host and a producer for the ABC newsmagazine 20/20.
In 1997, Walters created and debuted as a co-host on The View, a daytime talk show with an all-female panel. She retired as a co-host of The View in 2014 after 16 seasons, but still serves as its executive producer.
Since her retirement from The View, she has hosted a number of special reports for 20/20 and ABC News, as well as a documentaryseries for Investigation Discovery. Additionally, Walters continued to host her annual 10 Most Fascinating People special on ABC.
In 1996, Walters was ranked #34 on the TV Guide “50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time” list, and in 2000 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.