The View Honors Barbara Walters in Tribute Show After Her Death: 'There Will Never Be Another'

The View Honors Barbara Walters in Tribute Show After Her Death: 'There Will Never Be Another'

Past and present co-hosts of The View honored Barbara Walters on Tuesday's episode of the ABC daytime series the late journalist created more than 25 years earlier.

Original panelists Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos reunited to share their memories alongside alums Lisa Ling, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck as well as current co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Alyssa Farah Griffin.

Each spoke about Walters — who died on Friday at the age of 93 — and her legacy as a trailblazer, noting the doors she opened for them.

RELATED: The View Co-Hosts Still Have to 'Process' the Loss of Barbara Walters: She 'Was the OG'

"If not for her, I don't know where most of us will be," said Goldberg, 67, at the top of the show. "There was nobody like her. There isn't anyone like her and like all firsts, she's the first and there are many of us duplicates but there will never be another Barbara Walters."

"She single-handedly changed my life," added Matenopoulos, 48. "I was a 22-year-old journalism student at N.Y.U. when she chose me to sit next to her on this show. ... I owe her everything."

Barbara Walters The View

Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Behar, who has been on the show since the beginning and remains a co-host to this day, praised how Walters defied sexism and ageism in he career where she famously making history as the first female co-host on the Today show and the first woman to co-anchor a network nightly news broadcast.

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"She started The View when she was 68 years old — very few people start a new career at that age," said Behar, 80. "She had no mentors or role models because she was the original role model. She was not just a friend of ours. She was one of a kind, and vey important to the industry."

"Barbara was the hardest working person ever," Behar said. "I said to her, 'Why do you always get the interview?' and she said, ''Cause I don't go to the bathroom. That was the secret to her success. She was a camel in disguise!'"

RELATED: Barbara Walters' Longtime View Producer Reflects on How 'She Kicked Sexism and Ageism Squarely in the Ass'

Said Haines, 45: "For someone who gets paid to talk, what she did so well was listen. When you see what set her apart — her ability to strike that tone between curiosity, compassion and humanity ... there was something so uniquely powerful."

Hasselbeck, 45, also praised Walters as a broadcaster. "She was contagiously, compulsively curious and I love that about her," she said. "We know how well she researched. She gave her guests the chance to express themselves in a safe way and we all benefited from that."

the view

Heidi Gutman/Getty Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters on The View

But Behar also noted how the women of The View knew Walters "better than anyone."

"We had dinners with her, we hung around with her, and fooled around with her," said Behar, sharing stories about Walters' unexpected appreciation of dirty jokes and regifting things from her closet (even if they sometimes had her initials monogramed on them).

Vieira, 69, agreed, talking about Walters' love for Halloween because dressing up in costume gave her the opportunity to "be anything she wanted to be" other than the serious journalists she was known as.

RELATED: Meredith Vieira Says Barbara Walters Loved to Tell 'Naughty' Jokes: 'She Owned It'

Jones, 60, toasted Walters' enjoyment for gossip and some of the fun the two had off camera.

"You think being next to her at the table at The View was amazing? The best seat at the house at any social event was next to Barbara Walters because she could tell you anything about everybody in the room," said Jones. "At the time, she had either interviewed them, done a story on them, heard a story about them, and she would dish with the best of them, let me tell you. Going to lunch with BW, baby — you would get all the information."

One conversation that sticks out in Jones' mind? A dinner one the two had with Prince Albert. "[We] had a whole conversation about the 'Thong Song,' I will never forget this as long as I live," Jones said of the 1999 Sisqó hit.

"So everyone knows her as the brilliant iconic journalist but Joy and Meredith and Debbie and I, we got to dish with her in ways that other people will never, ever appreciate," continued Jones. "She was the best gossiper. She knew how to tell tales and drive the point home. I will miss that more than anything. If you wanted to know the tea, she had it."

the view season 1

Steve Fenn/ABC Season 1 of The View

The ladies later revealed the best advice they got from Walters.

"When I first started co-hosting, I was changing my questions on my cards. I was changing them and rewriting them, not realizing if that was appropriate," Hostin, 54, recalled. "And she came over to me and said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'This is not my voice, I'm rewriting my question, is that OK?' She said, 'I rewrite mine.' And then she started helping me."

"I thought, Oh my goodness. The generosity of that moment," Hostin said. "She validated my opinion. And after that day, she would ask me during the 'Hot Topics' meeting, 'What do you think, Sunny?' And I was like, Barbara Walters is asking me what I think? Wow!"

RELATED: Barbara Walters' Most Memorable Interviews, Including Her 'Mistake' of Asking One Star 'What Kind of Tree Would You Be?'

For Vieira, watching Walters start The View "made me realize that people don't have to stay on one path in life. It's okay to veer off it. I owe that realization to Barbara. That's the gift she gave me."

"She taught me everything," said Matenopoulos. "I was almost like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. She didn't like my hair, she took me to her hairdresser. She didn't like my outfit, so she had Fran Taylor dress me in sweater sets. Even all the interview skills I learned from her — how to do live television, how to handle myself in any social situation. ... It was incredible."


Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Elsewhere in the episode, Shepherd, Ling, Hasselbeck and Matenopoulos spoke about how Walters was a mother figure to them.

"This was an opportunity for her to really be that mother figure," said Ling, 49, of Walters, who was mom off camera to adopted daughter Jackie. "I really do believe she thought of us as her kids, as her daughters, and it was so important for her that we all do well and that we're happy. She was so supportive."

RELATED: Barbara Walters' Motherhood Journey in Her Own Words: How She Hoped Her Daughter Would Remember Her

As one of the few conservatives at the table over the years, Hasselbeck had what she called "a layered relationship" with Walters.

"She was my TV mom, my mentor, like she is to all of you. ... [But] she was also my boss and I was tasked with debating my boss, five days a week for 10 years on opposite sides of issues. So image the complexity there," said Hasselbeck. "Not only am I walking into work but I have to tell my boss that she's wrong about an issue every single day. But I think the reason Barbara and I have that special relationship over 10 years after The View, but the 10 yeas since in such an enriched way, is because she put our relationship over the roles that we had."

The women also noted how supportive of Walters they were — and how they fiercely defended her when guests would step out of line. "I remember feeling so protective of this woman who was so protective all the time of me, who would ferociously defend me no matter what gaffes I made at the table," said Shepherd, 55, recalling how she pushed back at some of The View's more controversial guests, including Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter.

"She demanded that we demand the best of us and demand respect for others," affirmed Goldberg. "That's what she said. 'You don't let anybody talk down to you ever.'"

Oprah Winfrey leads to one historic, monumental television event when Winfrey does a landmark roll call of introducing 25 incredible female journalists who were influenced by Barbara Walters

Ida Mae Astute/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Barbara Walters' final appearance on The View

RELATED: Barbara Walters' Emotional Goodbye to The View: See Generations of Women in Broadcast Honor the TV Legend

Throughout the hour, clips of Walters played during her time on The View, before she retired from the show in 2014 — including that final episode when generations of women in broadcasting surprised Walters on air.

Among the long and varied parade of newswomen was Diane SawyerRobin RobertsLara SpencerElizabeth VargasAmy Robach, Deborah Roberts, Juju Chang, Katie CouricSavannah Guthrie, Natalie MoralesTamron HallMaria Shriver, Cynthia McFadden, Kathie Lee GiffordHoda Kotb, Jane Pauley, Gayle KingGretchen CarlsonLisa Ling, Deborah Norville, Paula Zahn, Connie Chung and Joan Lunden.

"Many of the incredible women that have been influenced by you, and we all have been influenced by you, are here for you today," said Oprah Winfrey, who led the emotional moment. "And we all proudly stand on your shoulders, Barbara Walters, as we honor you."

As all stood around the desk behind her, Walters delivered an emotional message to the women gathered before her. "This is my legacy," said Walters, noting the special group of women there for her that day. "These are my legacy. And I thank you all."

Tuesday's show made that clear. It ended with an emotional shot of an empty chair with Walters name on it.

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The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.