Sep
05
Whatever Happened To Barbara Walters


Barbara Walters, the esteemed American broadcast
journalist, best-selling author, and iconic TV personality, spent 25 years conducting
interviews for 20/20. After retiring from primetime, she made her
way to daytime television with The View. But then in 2014, Walters made the difficult
decision to leave the show behind. It was hard for audiences to imagine that
actually happening. Would there really come a day when you’d turn
on your television and not see Walters’ face? As it turns out, yes, that’s exactly what
happened. Here’s what she’s been up to. On the Friday of her final week on The View, Walters awoke extra early for an appearance
on ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss her retirement plans. The following Monday, she’d finally get
to fully experience her sweet new lifestyle. She told ABC News:
“I’m going to lounge in bed until 3 in the afternoon. […] I have always had a schedule. I’ve always had deadlines. I’ve always had things to do.” She went on to say how she was greatly looking
forward to having “nothing” going on. As a woman who worked so hard for so long,
her days of lounging around and keeping her schedule empty naturally didn’t last forever. You may not see Walters very much these days, but she’s still only partially retired. Just as she continued to star on The View
after stepping away from 20/20, Walters’ career is simply on the back burner, and she remained
under contract with ABC post-retirement. In a 2014 interview with the New York Post,
Walters said: “I’m not looking for another job, but there
are other things I might want to do. Maybe not necessarily at all. But I like that process of creating.” While Walters wasn’t planning a full retirement,
she did announce that she would be stepping away from ABC’s 10 Most Fascinating People. Fast-forward to 2015 and it became obvious
that her decision didn’t stick. She said in an announcement:
“I know we said last year was our last, but there are just too many fascinating people
out there […] and you never pass up the opportunity to interview Oprah, Neil [Patrick
Harris], Chelsea [Handler], or Scarlett [Johansson].” And of course, who could possibly do the job
better than Barbara Walters? “Be so good…just work so hard that whatever
it is you become invaluable.” In November 2016, Radar Online reported that Walters hadn’t been photographed in public
for over 130 days, since the premier of Woody Allen’s movie Cafe Society on July 13. While 130 days sounds like a long time, that
number has grown exponentially. As of the making of this video, Walters still
hasn’t been seen, or photographed, in public. She’s also been abnormally quiet. In October 2017, a video of Walters interviewing
Corey Feldman on a 2013 episode of The View resurfaced. Feldman was detailing abuse experienced at
the hands of powerful men in Hollywood. Knowing what we now know about Harvey Weinstein
and other members of Hollywood’s elite, the interview is painful to watch. Walters rebuts Feldman’s claims and even tells
him: “You’re damaging an entire industry – I’m
sorry to interrupt you, but it’s a very important serious topic.” Some felt Walters should publicly apologize
to Feldman, but Walters was silent on social media even before the clip made its rounds. Walters generally isn’t one to publicize her
health struggles. When speaking at the Breast Cancer Research
Symposium and Awards luncheon in October 2014, the then-85-year-old opened up about her personal
connection to the disease. “I discovered a small lump in my own breast…
and under the expert care of Dr. Larry Norton I had a lumpectomy.” Walters said she hadn’t discussed it publicly,
up until this point, as she felt there was no reason to. “I told few people and I am fine and no recurrence.” In 2010, Walters also underwent heart surgery. Although she did announce her upcoming surgery
plans on The View, she kept her condition private for quite some time. So in September 2017, when TMZ reported that
Walters had become forgetful, fearful of falling, and isolated, people were concerned. But according to Walters’ PR rep Cindi Berger,
it isn’t true. When speaking with Fox News, Berger said:
“I see Barbara every 2-3 weeks and she’s fine. I’m actually seeing her next week for tea.” Perhaps Walters is simply enjoying her down
time, and after a lifetime of making public appearances, just isn’t feeling it anymore. Berger didn’t provide any explanation regarding
what Walters has been up to, but she definitely made one thing crystal clear: Barbara Walters
is alive and well. Despite her recent reclusiveness, Waters is still very much a part of a big project. After donating a generous $15 million for
the building of a campus center at her alma mater Sarah Lawrence College, the students,
faculty, and staff wanted a way to thank her properly for the donation. “We have only words but with your gift our
thanks will be shown in action. .Your legacy will live In manifold memories and experiences.” At the outset of 2018, Sarah Lawrence College
began building the $35 million “Barbara Walters Campus Center.” Not only will the center bear her name, but
it will also feature the “Barbara Walters Gallery” of fine art, as well as “the Barbara
Walters Archives and Reading Room.” Although Walters was unable to attend the
groundbreaking ceremony, the 34,800 square foot center is expected to open in fall 2019. Hopefully Walters will make an appearance
for the ribbon cutting.