The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg made a rare mention of Barbara Walters on Monday's episode. Walters, who turned 93 on Sunday, has rarely been seen in public since she retired in 2014 and made her final on-air appearance for ABC News in 2015. Goldberg's short birthday tribute to Walters came a few days after Sherri Shepherd mentioned how important Walters was as an influence.
At the start of Monday's episode of The View, producers showed a photo of Walters on the screen. "To the one and only Barbara Walters, who had a birthday yesterday, we wanna say, 27 never looked so good," Goldberg said, notes The Sun. Walters created the show and she is still credited as an executive producer.
Happy birthday to the one and only Barbara Walters! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dLF2mDJ5d8— The View (@TheView) September 26, 2022
Although Walters has not appeared on television in seven years, her influence on the daytime talk show world has not disappeared. During a stop on a SiriusXM Town Hall earlier this month, Shepherd said Walters prepared her for hosting her own show. Shepherd was on The View from 2007 to 2014 and is now hosting Sherri, which replaced The Wendy Williams Show this season.
Shepherd described Walters as a "taskmaster," but said she learned so much under her wing. "Don't get me wrong. It was the best experience that I've ever had," Shepherd said, via Entertainment Tonight. "It was literally my training. This is why my voice is so deep, right now from being on The View." Walters told her to "put some bass" in her voice because it makes her "appear confident."
Since Shepherd was better known as a comedian when she was hired on The View, she thought she was only there to make jokes. However, Walters wanted her to be as informed as everyone else on the panel. "She got on me because I know that she loved me," Shepherd recalled. "Literally she made me stretch and stretching, if you don't come outta your comfort zone and stretch, you don't grow."
Walters started her career on The Today Show in the 1960s and became an unavoidable presence on television. In 1976, she moved to ABC News, where she spent the rest of her career. In 1997, she created The View, which she co-hosted until her retirement in 2014. She made her last ABC News appearance in December 2015, when she interviewed then-candidate President Donald Trump. She hasn't been seen publicly since 2016, leading to rumors and concerns about her health.