Many fellow journalists and daytime-TV personalities paid tribute to ABC News veteran Barbara Walters in the wake of her death on Friday.
“Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me — nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news,” Oprah Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “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,” Winfrey added. “Grateful to have known her. Grateful to have followed in her Light.”
Walters died Friday 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, a daytime talk show anchored by an all-female panel that debuted in 1997. She retired from co-hosting the show in 2014, but remained an executive producer.
Star Jones — who co-hosted The View at its launch with Walters, Meredith Vieira, Debbie Matenopoulos and Joy Behar — tweeted, “I owe Barbara Walters more than I could ever repay. Rest well sister…mother…friend…colleague…mentor.”
Another onetime View co-host, Meghan McCain, tweeted that Walters’ “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.” Rosie Perez, another View alum, tweeted that when it came to Walters’ career, “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.”
Monica Lewinsky, who in 1999 gave Walters a famous interview in the wake of the Starr Investigation into the Clinton scandal, shared on Twitter that she and Walters stayed in touch ever since, and last saw each other a few years ago for lunch. “She was the very first person with whom I ever sat for a television interview… and will certainly be my most memorable. Barbara will be missed by many.”
ABC News vet Deborah Roberts, who joined 20/20 in 1995, tweeted, “What an honor to share the set with the inimitable trailblazer when I joined @abc2020. Will never forget the phone call when she asked me to join the groundbreaking program.”
Fellow broadcast journalist Maria Shriver tweeted that Walters “was a mentor to me as well as a friend. So many women broke into the news business because she did her job well. She worked so hard & helped a lot of younger women such as myself. Thank you, Barbara, for everything. You paved the way for all of us. You truly did.”
Bob Iger, CEO of ABC’s parent company The Walt Disney Company, tweeted: “Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself. She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state and leaders of regimes to the biggest celebrities and sports icons. I had the pleasure of calling Barbara a colleague for more than three decades, but more importantly, I was able to call her a dear friend. She will be missed by all of us at The Walt Disney Company, and we send our deepest condolences to her daughter, Jacqueline.”