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Barbara Walters‘ weeklong retirement celebration ended on Friday night with the two-hour ABC special Her Story, in which the retiring journalist, whose final episode as co-host of The View aired Friday, looked back at her life and more than 50-year TV career.
Much of Walters’ story has already been told and her famous interviews, clips of which were peppered throughout the show, have been seen by millions.
But there were still a few surprising revelations, including the six below.
1. Three Interviews She’d Show to Someone Who Doesn’t Know Her Work
Walters’ longtime producing partner Bill Geddie interviewed Walters for the special. Among the questions he asked were which three interviews she would want someone who didn’t know her work to see. It’s not surprising that Walters chose her memorable, highly rated sit-down with Monica Lewinsky as one of her three. But for her other two picks, she chose a chat with John Wayne and a joint interview with Mike Tyson and his then-wife Robin Givens. With respect to Wayne, Walters said, “I did an interview with him just three months before he died, and he was just so masculine and straightforward,” she said. With respect to Tyson and Givens, who filed for divorce from the boxer shortly after the sit-down, “Everywhere I went the next day, people would ask me about it.”
2. Getting the Order Right
It’s well known that Walters does her homework before interviews, so thoroughly researching her subjects that they’ve often been surprised by what she knows about them, and that she writes her questions on 3×5 cards. But during her ABC special, she shared more details of her interview preparation. She writes 50-100 questions, she explained, placing one question on each card, and arranges (and rearranges them), throwing away and adding questions as she gets ready for the interview. And she devotes a great deal of time to perfecting the order of her questions. “I can spend hours, days, changing the order of questions,” she said. She also revealed that she often asks one of her signature questions, “finish this sentence for me,” in order to get a strong ending to an interview, explaining that she wants a strong beginning and ending to the sit-down.
3. She’s Satisfied With Her Singing Voice
Walters has often sang with her interview subjects, and she thinks she has a good enough voice to join in. When asked what kind of singing voice she thinks she has, Walters said, “Not bad. I love to sing with people.”
4. She Nailed Her Today Debut
Walters recalled her first on-camera appearance on NBC’s Today, which involved her talking about her “tough” assignment covering fashion shows in Paris. After a clip of it aired and she sarcastically bemoaned her glamorous assignment, Walters revealed that she now thinks she nailed it. “I look at it now and I think, ‘I really was cute. I really was good. Why did it take anybody so long to discover me?’,” she said.
5. A Private Photo
One of Walters’ revelations was a visual one, showing off a previously unseen photo of Jimmy Carter and her daughter, Jackie, when the then-President invited Walters’ kid to the White House to meet his daughter, Amy.
6. She’ll Miss The View Most of All
Although Walters has hosted Today, the ABC Evening News and 20/20, she may have saved the best for last. Walters revealed that of all the shows she’s done and said goodbye to, “I think perhaps I will miss The View more than any other program that I have done.” She made her last appearance as a View co-host on Friday but will continue to serve as the show’s executive producer and contribute to ABC News on an as-needed basis.
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