Barbara Walters, you don’t have to know much about the news, television or even daytime talk shows to know the name. She is a true juggernaut, a legend of American television and journalism. But since her retirement, fans have been noticing Walters’ lack of public presence. This has been leading some to concerns about her health.
Now, at the age of ninety one, there are rumours from those around her that Walters’ health has been rapidly declining. This has led to many speculating the worst, that Walters is approaching her final days. So what is the truth, and what is simply the mumblings of fan gossip? Join us as we take a look at the rising concerns, rumours and lifestyle changes of legendary journalist, Barabara Walters.
A celebrated career
Barbara Walters, born on September 25th, 1929, is ninety one years old. She is an American retired broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. Known for her impressive interviewing abilities and huge popularity with viewers, Walters appeared as the host of numerous television programs. These programs included Today, The View, 20/20, and the ABC Evening News. Walters’ career as a journalist spans from 1951 until 2015.
The success of her career cannot be overstated with her induction into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2000, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
In the early 1960s, Walters began her career on The Today Show as a writer and segment producer of women’s interest stories. Her popularity with viewers noticed, and resulted in Walters receiving more airtime. In 1974, she became co-host of the program, the first woman to hold such a title on an American news program. This might not seem like anything revolutionary today, but for the 1970’s, it’s impact was truly remarkable.
In 1976, Walters’ influence grew. She continued to be a pioneer for women in broadcasting by becoming the first female co-anchor of a network evening news program. Alongside Harry Reasoner on the ABC Evening News. By this point, Walters seemed unstoppable and people loved her for it.
From 1979 to 2004, Walters worked as a producer and co-host on the ABC newsmagazine 20/20. She also became known for an annual special aired on ABC, Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People. Walters created, produced, and co-hosted the ABC daytime talk show The View in 1997, on which she appeared until her retirement in 2014.
Thereafter, she continued to host a number of special reports for 20/20 as well as documentary series for Investigation Discovery. Her final on-air appearance for ABC News was in 2015.
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Walters has chosen a low-key lifestyle
Some of Barbara Walters’ more dedicated fans and followers have become concerned in recent years due to her more low-key lifestyle and staying away from the public eye. Considering her current age of ninety one, Walters has every right to want to preserve her privacy. And, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s even more understandable on her part. But this hasn’t stopped her worried fans from desiring to know what is going on with Walters.
Even though Walters created the long running talk show, The View, there are still no rumblings on her returning to Television. On the contrary, it seems more and more likely that Walters has decided to stay living a more low-key life indefinitely. Having traveled the world, interviewing countless celebrities and world leaders for decades. It’s an understandable choice for the ninety one year old.
It’s fair to say that she officially retired for good.
Walters had some health scares in the past
Some have concerned about Walters’ and her health due to health issues that she’s suffered with over the years. In 2010, Walters underwent heart surgery, a procedure known as an aortic valve replacement. The procedure was to correct a problem of which she and her doctors had been aware for some time.
At eighty years old, Walters announced on The View that she was undergoing surgery to replace a faulty heart valve. She expressed that she had always been healthy and never missed a day’s work. She then announced the surgery that she would undertake and reassured her fans by letting them know that many people had done it.
Walters told ABC Senior Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser that the problem detected during an echocardiogram of her heart. The scan revealed that her valves were getting tighter and smaller. Since the test, Walters’ doctors followed the progression of the problem, anticipating that her aortic valve would eventually need to replaced. Walters even experienced pressure in her upper chest.
ABC News president David Westin spoke out about Walter’s surgery and said in a statement, “There’s no denying that this is a serious surgery. But it’s also a type of surgery that has done often and successfully. And, as those of us who work with Barbara know, she’s in excellent condition. So, we have every reason to expect a great result and a speedy recovery.”
Walters was far from the first high-profile figure to require surgery to replace the aortic valve. In March of 2009, both former first lady Barbara Bush and actor and comedian Robin Williams had similar surgeries. They both experienced excellent recoveries.
In 2014, Walters revealed that after discovering a lump in one of her breasts, she underwent a lumpectomy. As well as this, Walters had both of her ovaries removed. This was due to her sister having died from ovarian cancer. Walters never officially stated that she diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. She simply did what she saw as necessary in order to remain healthy over the years.
Walters is still highly respected by others in show business
In 2019, American comedian, actress, and television personality, Rosie O’Donnell spoke to Us Weekly about how she will always love and respect Barbara Walters. She then revealed that Walter’s wasn’t up to seeing people. Rosie continued, “It’s hard to age in America, never mind if you’re internationally famous.”
American actress, television personality and comedian, Whoopi Goldberg also paid tribute to Walters on The View. This was for her 90th birthday back in 2019. She later spoke with Extra, where she claimed that Walters is fine, as far as she knows.
American actress, model, and media personality, Jenny McCarthy told Us Weekly in February 2020, that she had heard about Walters health not being great. McCarthy continued by labeling Walters, “a juggernaut that’ll just keep going no matter what.”
Walters current health issues
More recently, Barbara Walters has labeled as ailing, while being paranoid to leave her home. A person close to Walters has described the former journalist as an infirm shut-in at her apartment in New York City, that overlooks Central Park. She watched around the clock by nurses who have one mission above all else, to keep Barbara Walters alive.
Walters has not seen in public since July of 2016 and is likely to never be seen on television again. The source close to Walters claims that she is so disorientated that she rarely remembers who she is talking to.
Despite this, there are still a few things from Walters’ past that she recognizes, including old photos of her beloved dog, Cha Cha, and the televised voice of her old View co-host, Joy Behar. Walters’ reps officially deny that she is suffering from dementia, which opposes the claims of the insider, who has said that Walters doesn’t always know her name, but the voice of Behar puts a smile on her face.
Waters’ staff have The View playing for her when it comes on. But memories of running the program often leave her in tears. She’s now become so weak that she placed in a wheelchair for fear that she might wander out onto the streets on her own. Apparently, Walters Handlers have had a hard time with her, due to physical outbursts.
Once a week, a trainer visits with Walters to ensure her limbs don’t atrophy from immobility. The source has spoken of a tragic downward spiral that her fans have left heartbroken to hear.
It has been claimed that ABC News is preparing Walters’ obituary, wanting to be ready for that fateful day when Walters finally signs off for good.
Walters planned her funeral years ago
Known as a control freak, it is believed by many around her that once Barbara Walters reached her eighties, she began planning for her own funeral. Having been in full control and produced multiple television shows. It comes to reason that she would decide to produce the finale of her life.
Considering that it was announced when Walters was eighty seven years old that she was becoming seriously ill and showing the degradation of age. And including early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s even more impressive and a sign of her strength of character. And that she is still going today at the age of ninety one.
Do you think the concerns for Barbara Walters’ health are merely rumours. Or should we be preparing for that sad and fateful day, where we must say goodbye to a television legend?
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