Watch an exclusive conversation between ABC13's Melanie Lawson and Barbara Walters

Melanie Lawson Image
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
An exclusive conversation with Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters was the first, in so many ways, the first woman to anchor a morning and evening newscast, and the first to create a groundbreaking talk show aimed at women.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A true legend in the broadcasting field died over the weekend.

Former ABC anchor Barbara Walters was the first, in so many ways, the first woman to anchor a morning and evening network newscast and the first to create a groundbreaking talk show aimed at women, "The View."

But she was most famous for her exclusive interviews with world leaders and newsmakers from all walks of life.

ABC13'S Melania Lawson spoke with Walters just before she retired from the View in May of 2014. And it was indeed a daunting assignment interviewing the world's best interviewer.

With only days to go before she stepped down, she was asked, "What's the first thing you're going to do?"

Without missing a beat: "Sleep," she said.

RELATED: Barbara Walters, trailblazing TV news broadcaster, longtime ABC News anchor, dies at 93

After her incredible nearly 60-year career breaking news and glass ceilings, she made it clear that it wasn't easy. One example was when she became the first woman to anchor an evening newscast at ABC, her co-anchor Harry Reasoner made it clear that he didn't want her there.

"I was drowning, and there was no life preserver," she said. "I had to work my way back, and that's when I did the biggest interviews because I had to prove myself. So in a way, it was a blessing, but it didn't feel that way at the time."

Over the years, her exclusive interviews became must-see TV, as she was able to talk to famous people that no one else could. But Walters said she was seldom intimidated, having grown up around celebrities at her father's nightclub in New York.

"I realized that stars, celebrities have feelings, get hurt, and have to pick themselves up," she explained. "So I see them as people, not 'look who I'm talking to.'"

The most surprising confession was when Walters was asked if she had any regrets.

Remember, this woman seemed to be unflappable as she interviewed some of the world's most famous people.

RELATED: Barbara Walters in her own words in 2014

"I regret everything," she said, "I second-guess interviews. I do woulda, coulda, shoulda. I regret the decisions I made in my career. I'm a big regretter. And then I think, move on."

On Walters' last day at The View, some of broadcasting's most famous female anchors came to thank her for paving the way.

Lawson said during the interview, Walters told her something that she said she would never forget.

"I'm proud of women like you," she told Lawson. "I'm proud of women who are doing everything in television, behind the camera and in front of them."

Walters continued, "That wasn't the case when I began, and if my success means anything or my failures, that's my legacy. That's what I'm most proud of."

Barbara Walters was 93.

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