10 fascinating interviews by Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters is retiring after a storied television reporting career that has spanned five decades. She's known for her high-profile interviews, which have included dictators, celebrities and presidents.

Let's take a look back at 10 of some of her most fascinating interviews (in no particular order):

Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin

In 1977, Walters conducted a historic joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Walters describes Walter Cronkite's involvement in securing the interviews with Sadat and Begin in the video below:

 

Fidel Castro

Her first interview with Fidel Castro aired on June 9, 1977.  She interviewed the Cuban dictator again in 2002 where their topics included Cuban-American relations, the Cuban Missile Crisis, freedom of the press.

Watch part of the interview below:

 

Vladimir Putin

Walters interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2001. It was the first time he was interviewed by an American journalist since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. During the interview, she asked him if he ordered anyone killed.

"I'm going to ask you a terrible question," she said. "Did you ever order anyone killed?"

Putin answered, "Nyet."

Watch part of the interview below:


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Michael Jackson

In 1997, Walters interviewed Michael Jackson after the tragic death of Princess Diana. He spoke of how he was being treated by the paparazzi and the tabloids.

"I'm not a Jacko," he tells her. "I'm Jackson."

Watch the full interview below:

 

Moammar Gadhafi

Walters sat down with the Libyan dictator in 1989 and interviewed him outside a tent he used for an office in Tripoli. Among the topics, he talked about the American people and the biggest misconception they have about him.

Watch the full interview below:


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Barbra Streisand

Walters interviewed Barbra Streisand for the first "Barbara Walters Special," which ran on Dec. 14, 1976.

She talked with Streisand and her then-boyfriend producer Jon Peters at their Malibu ranch about their film "A Star is Born," among other topics.

Watch part of the interview below:

 

Oprah Winfrey

Walters first interviewed Oprah Winfrey in 1988 and sat down again with her in 2010 as she was preparing to end her namesake show to start her new network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

She is seen crying while talking about her relationship with her best friend Gayle King.

"She is the mother I never had," Winfrey said. "She is the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves. I don't know a better person."

Watch part of the interview below:

 

Hugo Chavez

Walters' interview with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which aired in March of 2007, was his first interview with an American television journalist since calling President George W. Bush "the devil" in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 2006.

Watch part of the interview below:

 

Katharine Hepburn

Walters was widely lampooned for asking actress Katharine Hepburn in a 1981 interview, "What kind of a tree are you?" In the interview, Hepburn compares herself to a tree, so Walters followed up with that question. Though she was never able to live it down, she was a good sport about it.

Walters even included the question in another special called "30 Mistakes in 30 Years."

Watch the clip below:

 

Monica Lewinsky

Walter's interview of Monica Lewinsky in 1999 drew 74 million viewers. Toward the end of the interview, she asked Lewinsky, "What will you tell your children when you have them?" Lewinsky answers, "Mommy made a big mistake."  Walters then appears alone on camera, telling viewers, "And that is the understatement of the year."

Watch part of the interview below:


The View will be celebrating Barbara Walters on Thursday, as all of the show’s co-hosts will come together on one stage for a reunion. Walters will then make her final appearance on the show on Friday. The View airs daily at 10 a.m., followed by ABC15 News at 11. ABC will also air a special Friday night called Barbara Walters: Her Story. The special starts at 8 p.m. and is followed by ABC15 News at 10 p.m.

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