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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ayeesha Walsh

Inside Barbara Walters’ tough final year at The View with health battle behind the scenes

Barbara Walters was struggling with her health behind the scenes during her final year hosting The View.

The iconic host passed away at her home in New York on Friday (December 30) at the age of 93, eight years on from stepping down from the hit ABC talk show.

She had been a household name for decades when she finally made the choice to exit the role during the 16th season after asking TV executive Anne Sweeney to write down the year 2014 on a piece of paper during a lunch date in March 2013.

At the time Barbara had just returned to work after a spate of bad health that included a fall and an attack of chicken pox.

Barbara exited the show in 2014 (Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

A few months later Barbara asked Anne if she still had the piece of paper as it contained the year she planned to retire and call time on her broadcasting career.

Anne recalled the events to journalist Ramin Setoodeh who recounted the story in his 2019 book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View.

Ramin explained further how ABC had been reluctant to let Barbara go after she had created and co-hosted The View since 1997 which went on to become one of their biggest success stories ever with it's groundbreaking journalism.

However, as 2014 progressed Barabara - who was 84 at the time - continued to struggle with her health and it became clear that her retirement was necessary.

The famous host was struggling with her health when she quit (Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

He wrote: “One day, just as the show ended, she collapsed into the arms of a stage manager. She had to be taken to the greenroom, where they laid her down on a sofa. The staff called the paramedics.”

The book then claims that Barbara was “concerned that the sight of her on a stretcher would make it into the papers,” although she did finally see a doctor before appearing back on set the very next day where she “acted like it was business as usual.”

ABC marked Barbara's exit with a two-hour long primetime special to highlight her incredible career that saw her co-hosts including Meredith Vieira and Star Jones returning to The View to mark her 17th and final season.

ABC News even went as far as to rename their Upper West Side headquarters in New York the Barbara Walters Building.

Barbara became a household name on the show (Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

The Emmy award-winning newswoman bid farewell to The View in May 2014 with Hillary Clinton, Michael Douglas and Oprah Winfrey serving as her final guests.

During the closing of the show, she admitted that she was looking forward to taking “a deep breath” so that she could “enjoy her view.”

She went on to star as a guest co-host on several occasions in 2014 and 2015 before permanently going off air as she settled into retired life.

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