Former and current hosts of the US news show The View reunited to pay their respects to Barbara Walters following her death at the age of 93.
The presenter, who created the ABC program in 1977, was hailed by her colleagues as a “one-of-a-kind” journalist who “defies sexism and ageism.”
The news of his death was announced by the network on December 30.
On Tuesday, presenters including Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Lisa Ling gathered for a special episode to celebrate her life and legacy.
“If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where most of us would be,” Goldberg said at the beginning of the show.
“There was no one like him. There’s nothing like her, and like all firsts, she’s the first and most of us have copies, but there will never be another Barbara Walters.
“It has greatly challenged sexism and ageism,” Behar said.
“It got into the lion’s mouth… and started The View at 68, very few people start a new career at that age.
“He didn’t have any mentors or role models because he was the original role model for everyone else. That’s why we should give a lot of importance to women.
“He wasn’t just a friend to us, he was one of a kind and very important to the industry.”
Matenopulos said Walters “single-changed my life.”
“I was a 22-year-old journalism student at NYU when he chose me to sit next to him on this show.
“It was like taking a journalism master class with the most respected, most famous female journalist in history. It was incredible.”
“I owe him everything.”
The remainder of Tuesday’s episode of The View featured multiple episodes devoted to Walters and clips of his nearly four decades of work.
During his time on ABC and before that on NBC, Walters has interviewed monarchs, royalty and entertainers, including former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Prince Charles before he became King.
Following the news of his death, Hollywood accolades poured in from celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Reece Whiterspoon, Hugh Jackman and Sir Paul McCartney.
Sir Paul, whose wife Nancy Shevell is Walters’ cousin, said Walters was a “wonderful woman” who was “overly self-possessed in the early days of male-dominated television”.
“We will miss him but will always remember him with great affection,” she wrote on Instagram.
American talk show host Winfrey also wrote on Instagram: “I wouldn’t be me without Barbara Walters – there wouldn’t be any other woman you see on the evening, morning and daily news.
“He was truly a Pioneer. I always made my first TV auditions with him in mind.
“I’m grateful for being such a strong and gracious role model.
“I am grateful to have known him.
“I am grateful for following His Light.”
Walters’ publisher, Cindi Berger, told the Associated Press that she died “peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones.”
“He lived his life with no regrets. She was a pioneer not just for women journalists, but for all women,” said Ms. Berger.