With “trailblazer” being used in almost every Barbara Walters obituary, perhaps no singular video moment speaks more to the path she forged as a female journalist than the surprise she received on her final episode of The View.
Back on May 15, 2014, Walters ended her 17-plus year run as a cohost on the daytime program, which was conceived as “a talk show featuring four or five women of different backgrounds, different generations, and different opinions.”
To commemorate the occasion, daytime talk queen Oprah Winfrey stopped by — in part to lavish her own praise upon Walters, but most memorably to surprise the guest of honor with a literal parade of more than 20 female journalists who stood on Walters’ shoulders.
There were in-house ABC peers/alumni such as Diane Swayer, Joan Lunden, Robin Roberts and Amy Robach, of course, but the Avengers-like assembly also boasted reporters, anchors and on-air personalities from rival networks, including Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb.
Watch the emotional and historic moment cued up above (to the 12:30 mark).
“I was teary,” Walters told ABC News afterwards. “But I wasn’t going to cry because I was really very happy…. It was, really, for me, very moving.”
Walters died Friday, Dec. 30 at her home in New York, at age 93. In a tweet announcing her death, ABC News described her as someone “who shattered the glass ceiling and became a dominant force in an industry once dominated by men.” (Read TVLine’s obituary for the journalistic icon here.)
In addition to a career marked by hosting duties on Today, 20/20 and The Barbara Walters Special, Walters created and co-hosted ABC’s The View. She retired from co-hosting the show in 2014, but remained an executive producer.