Oprah Winfrey leads tributes to Barbara Walters


Oprah Winfrey has led the tributes to "trailblazer" Barbara Walters following her death.
The veteran broadcaster passed away on Friday (30.12.22) at the age of 93, and stars including Maria Shriver, Lynda Carter and multiple panellists on 'The View' - which Barbara founded in 1997 - have spoken out to honour the journalist and her legacy.
Oprah shared a photo of them together on Instagram and paid a touching tribute to her "powerful and gracious role model".
She wrote: "Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me—nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news. She was indeed a Trailblazer. I did my very first television audition with her in mind the whole time.
"Grateful that she was such a powerful and gracious role model.
"Grateful to have known her.
"Grateful to have followed in her Light."
Rosie O'Donnell simply hailed her former 'The View' colleague a "legend", while one of the show's original panellists, Debbie Matenopoulos admitted she was "so, so, so sad" because of the news.
Debbie added on her Instagram Story: "Thank you for everything. You single handedly changed my life and the life of every other female journalist by leading the way for us all. May you rest in peace and in power and beauty you amazing woman!! I owe you everything as do so many others. You will always be my hero.(sic)"
Star Jones, another of the daytime programme's first ever co-hosts, tweeted: "I owe Barbara Walters more than I could ever repay. Rest well sister…mother…friend…colleague…mentor.(sic)"
Former panellist Meghan McCain expressed her view that Barbara's "hard hitting questions and welcoming demeanour made her a household name and leader in American journalism."
Michelle Collins recalled how nervous she was when she first joined 'The Views' because of one of the "first rites of passage" new hosts have to go through.
She tweeted: "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(sic)"
'Good Morning America' anchor Robin Roberts said she would be "forever grateful" to Barbara because of her "stellar example and for her friendship".
Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather hailed Barbara a "true pro".
He tweeted: "The world of journalism has lost a pillar of professionalism, courage, and integrity. Barbara Walters was a trailblazer and a true pro. She outworked, out-thought, and out-hustled her competitors. She left the world the better for it. She will be deeply missed. RIP"
Maria Shriver praised the work of her friend and mentor.
She wrote: "[Barbara] was a mentor to me as well as a friend. So many women broke into the news business because she did her job well."
'Wonder Woman' actress Lynda Carter shared an old video clip of her being interviewed by Barbara and her co-stars on 'The View'.
She wrote: "Barbara Walters was an American institution. As the first female national news anchor, she opened the door to endless possibilities for so many girls who wanted to work in TV, myself included. Her impact cannot be overstated. I'll miss you, Barbara. Thank you for everything."