From an early age, Barbara Walters was determined to make a mark in the media industry as a producer, writer and host. She created The View in 1997, one of the most successful daytime talk shows on network television. The longtime television host announced her retirement in May 2013 at the age of 83 and has only stepped out on rare occasions since then.
“I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain,” Barbara said in a statement at the time. “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.”
May 16, 2014, marked Barbara’s last official day as a cohost on The View, one year after making her announcement. In honor of her incredible legacy on television, ABC aired a two-hour special about her career accomplishments.
“In this business there are legends, there are icons and then there is Barbara Walters,” Bob Iger, former Chairman and Chief Executive of The Walt Disney Company, said at the time. “She’s a dear friend and colleague as well as someone I deeply admire, and it’s impossible to fully convey her impact and influence on television. She broke barriers, defied convention, made history and set the standard for journalistic excellence for more than 50 years. It’s hard to imagine television without her.”
In honor of Barbara’s last week as an official host on The View, all 11 hosts from the past and the present reunited to see her off. The episode marked the first time Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Rosie O’Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd shared the stage together.
“I’m so excited and honored to go back to where it all began and share in Barbara’s last show with all of the other cohosts,” Debbie told E! News in April 2014. “Barbara is an icon and a living legend and changed the game for women in journalism. Because she was a trailblazer in this business, it has allowed us opportunities that would have never been possible before. There will never be another Barbara Walters. It is truly the end of an era.”
In her time away from The View, Barbara continued to live in New York City. In October 2019, Rosie revealed that her former costar prefers a quiet life out of the spotlight.
“I don’t think she’s up to speaking to people now,” the comedian told Us Weekly at the time. “I think she’s a wonderful woman, and it’s hard to age in America, never mind if you’re internationally famous.”
In September 2022, Whoopi made a rare mention of Barbara during an episode of The View to honor the icon’s 93rd birthday.
“To the one and only Barbara Walters, who had a birthday yesterday, we want to say, 27 never looked so good!” she said during the segment.
Keep scrolling to see rare photos of Barbara since she retired from The View.
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