Meredith Vieira Says Barbara Walters Loved to Tell 'Naughty' Jokes

The death of iconic journalist Barbara Walters has brought out many tributes from some of her peers, including a new heartfelt essay from Meredith Vieira. In the essay, published by PEOPLE, Vieira memorializes her late friend and shares some sweet and funny anecdotes. One of the things that the journalist reveals about her former The View co-panelist is that Walters loved to tell "naughty" jokes.

"If you were lucky, as I was on a few occasions, you'd find yourself sitting with her at a dinner table with martinis in hand," Vieira wrote. "And she would regale the other guests with really naughty jokes perfectly delivered. "Barbara was funny and sexy and in those moments, she owned it." The two women worked together for the first nine seasons of The View until Vieira's exit in 2006. Walters remained with the show until 2014.

Walters was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1929, and as a young woman she Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating with a journalism degree, she began working in the news industry, eventually landing a job with the Today show in the early 1960s. Walters later went on to appear on the ABC Evening News and made a name for herself on the newsmagazine series 20/20, where she sat down for many iconic celebrity and political interviews. In 1997, Walters helped create The View, which has since gone on to become one of the biggest daytime talk shows of all-time. Walters left the series in 2014, and remained fairly low-key after that.

The legendary reporter passed away on Friday in New York City. She was 93. No cause of death was revealed at the time. Walters had been living out of public view for years, with only some sharing her condition on social media. In a statement, Walters' spokesperson Cindi Berger told CNN, "Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists but for all women."

Elsewhere in her essay, Vieira wrote of Walters, "I've been thinking a lot about Barbara, not just the newswoman, but the lady herself. Most of my memories revolve around my time at The View. I would show up to work in my frayed Eddie Bauer jacket and brown clogs. Barbara would appear with the clicking of high heels and the demeanor of the Upper East Side lady she was. And yet she always retained the instincts of someone who had been forced to fight her way to the recognition and respect she deserved."


Vieira added, "She knew what it meant to work harder than anyone else in the room just to be considered an equal. Maybe that's why she demanded so much from those around her. I understood it and always admired her work ethic." Read the complete essay here.