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Barbara Walters to make final TV appearance on May 16

Barbara Walters appears in an undated photo from her ABC talk show, 'The View.' (ABC)
April 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
TV icon Barbara Walters has announced her final appearance on 'The View' will be on May 16.

On Monday, ABC News also confirmed it will be naming its New York headquarters after her. A two-hour prime time special will also air that night as part of a daylong retirement celebration highlighting her life and career.

Walters announced her retirement from regular TV appearances last year.

"I have been on television continuously for over 50 years. But in the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all," she said. "It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating, and occasionally bumpy ride, and I wouldn't change a thing."

The 84-year-old journalist will remain behind the scenes as an executive producer for the daytime talk show, which she created in 1997.

Walters was first introduced to television audiences on NBC's "Today" show in 1961, but spent the bulk of her career at ABC, where she became the first female anchor on an evening network newscast in 1976. Three years later, she became a co-host of "20/20," and in 1997, she launched "The View."

She nabbed the interviews everyone wanted to see, and never shied away from asking hard questions. In 1999, she conducted the first interview with Monica Lewinsky, which remains the most watched interview in TV history.

She's interviewed every American president and first lady since Richard Nixon and has sat down with numerous world leaders, including Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Her colleagues say she will be a lifelong member of ABC News.

"In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters," Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Walt Disney Company said. "She's a dear friend and colleague as well as someone I deeply admire, and it's impossible to fully convey her impact and influence on television. She broke barriers, defied convention, made history and set the standard for journalistic excellence for more than 50 years. It's hard to imagine television without her."

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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