Tributes poured in for Barbara Walters after her death at the age of 93, including from her former co-hosts on The View. The late news anchor and host made television history in 1997 when she launched the daytime series on ABC, marking the first-ever talk show with an all-female cast. Barbara served as co-host on the panel-style show from its inception through to her retirement in 2014, sharing the round table with many others over the decades.
Her passing was confirmed by her former employer, ABC News, online and on-air as well as in a statement from her rep. “Barbara 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,” they said in statement to HollywoodLife.
Following her death, many of those who shared the stage with Barbara on The View — including those who hosted well after her retirement — took to social media to pay tribute.
Rosie O’Donnell is perhaps the most controversial host in The View history, generating plenty of chatter during her initial eight month run from 2006 to 2007. The comedian, 60, later returned in 2014 for another year before once again departing. Shortly after Barbara’s death, Rosie shared two photos of herself and Barbara to Instagram, captioning one, “legend #ripbarbara.”
Elisabeth Hasselbeck co-hosted the series from 2003 to 2013 alongside Barbara, memorably bringing a Republican point-of-view to the series. The Survivor alum, 45, shared a sweet video montage of photos with Barbara over the years set to “God Is In This Story” by Katy Nichole and Big Daddy Weave. “Today, heaven welcomed my mentor and friend. And my TV mom,” she wrote over the video, adding more in a caption.
“I love you Barbara. GOD is in this story. I have few words tonight — and will be ready to honor you tomorrow Dec 31 at 9am EST (10central) on Fox and friends. It will be an honor to be broadcasting about your love and legacy. #thebeststoriesareinheaven,” she wrote, promoting her upcoming tribute on FOX News.
Lisa Ling was the first Asian woman to first the series, joining in season three back in 1999, and remaining on the ABC show until 2002. The journalist, 49, shared a late ’90s photo with her Emmy winning mentor along with one from the last decade to Instagram as she paid tribute to the icon.
“You paved the way for all of us, dear Barbara,” the Somewhere Inside author wrote. “What an honor it has been to know you and to have been the beneficiary of your titanic spirit and wisdom,” she added.
Comedian Sherri Shepard got her hosting start on The View in 2007, remaining in her seat for seven years before departing in 2014 — the same year Barbara retired. “Thank you Barbara Walters for giving a shy girl who didn’t like to debate a seven-year chance of a lifetime,” Sherri penned alongside photos of the two on-air together over the years via Twitter.
Thank you Barbara Walters for giving a shy girl who didn’t like to debate a seven-year chance of a lifetime. Thank You for allowing me to find my voice and encouraging me to fly. My heart hurts, but I’ll always love you Lady! ❤️ #BarbaraWalters pic.twitter.com/lzvtRnJiR4
— Sherri Shepherd (@sherrieshepherd) December 31, 2022
“Thank You for allowing me to find my voice and encouraging me to fly. My heart hurts, but I’ll always love you Lady! #BarbaraWalters,” she wrote.
Star Jones, 60, is iconically one of the original hosts of the series from way back in 1997. The lawyer remained on the ABC talk show for nearly a decade, wrapping up her run in 2006. Jones was heartbroken after the death of her former colleague, writing, “I owe Barbara Walters more than I could ever repay. Rest well sister…mother…friend…colleague…mentor,” on Twitter.
I owe Barbara Walters more than I could ever repay. Rest well sister…mother…friend…colleague…mentor.
— Star Jones (@StarJonesEsq) December 31, 2022
Jenny McCarthy joined the series for a year from 2013 – 2014. The actress, 50, shared a sweet screenshot of Barbara embracing her on-screen as they shared a laugh alongside a note about the journalist’s “impact” on her life. “My Dear Barbara, Thank you for your love, guidance, support, nurturing and for making a seat for me at ‘the table’,” Jenny began.
“Your impact on the world is immeasurable. Your impact on me will never be forgotten. You will forever be an icon, in every sense of the word, and a most beloved friend to me. Love you always, Jenny. Rest peacefully. #ripbarbarawalters,” she signed off.
Rosie Perez, 58, also hosted The View for one season from 2014 – 2015 — joining the cast right after Barbara’s retirement. The actress and activist retweeted ABC’s statement about her passing, adding, “An amazing woman. Amazing loss. Shattering the glass ceiling is a huge understatement. She decimated it. Paved the way for so many. I feel very proud/humble to have known her & to have worked with her. Condolences to her loved ones & the entire @TheView family. #RipBarbaraWalters.”
Comedian Michelle Collins joined the series for a year in 2015 – 2016 — and while she never actively worked with Barbara on the show, she revealed that lunch with the creator was a “rite of passage” before going on-air.
One of the first rites of passage of becoming a host on @TheView was to have lunch with Barbara Walters. Few times in my life have I been that nervous. She was an absolute trailblazer, class, elegance, smarts that are increasingly hard to come by. I’ll always be grateful. RIP
— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) December 31, 2022
“One of the first rites of passage of becoming a host on @TheView was to have lunch with Barbara Walters,” she recalled in her tribute via Twitter. “Few times in my life have I been that nervous. She was an absolute trailblazer, class, elegance, smarts that are increasingly hard to come by. I’ll always be grateful. RIP,” the 41-year-old added.
— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) December 31, 2022
Michelle also included a second tweet of the only photo she and Walters have together backstage at ABC. “The one photo I have of Barbara Walters and I together backstage at The View. Our energies summed up quite nicely here. #RIP,” she said.
Sunny Hostin has been a regular host on The View since 2016, having the opportunity to be on-air with Barbara during a guest appearance on the series after her retirement. The lawyer, 54, remembered Walters as an “extraordinary” woman in her heartrending tribute that included a photo of the two on the set of The View.
“I am in Ghana, Africa and still learned the sad news of my mentor and colleague.
The world has lost a remarkable woman today. I am heartbroken to hear of Barbara’s passing,” Hostin began. “She was an extraordinary, meticulous and no-nonsense journalist with a wicked sense of humor. She shattered countless glass ceilings and did it with grace and humility,” the New York native also said.
“While I’m deeply saddened by this loss and will miss her terribly, I’m forever grateful for the trails she blazed for me and so many others. I’m humbled and honored to carry on her legacy. Rest in Power,” Sunny signed off.
Meghan McCain joined the series well after Barbara’s retirement in 2017, remaining on the series for four years until 2021. The daughter of the late John McCain, 38, remembered Barbara as a “household name” and “leader” in journalism on Twitter.
Barbara Walters will always be known as a trail blazer. Her hard hitting questions & welcoming demeanor made her a household name and leader in American journalism.
Her creation of The View is something I will always be appreciative of. Rest in peace you will forever be an icon.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) December 31, 2022
“Barbara Walters will always be known as a trailblazer. Her hard hitting questions and welcoming demeanor made her a household name and leader in American journalism,” the Phoenix, Arizona native wrote. “Her creation of The View is something I will always be appreciative of. Rest in peace you will forever be an icon,” she added.