Barbara Walters Quotes

Somebody once asked me, 'cause I'd always worked with men, I'll just say it straight, if I'd ever slept my way to the top, had I ever thought about that? And I said, 'I wish I had, because I would've made it much faster.' 

2013

I've had an amazing career beyond anything I could ever have imagined and I hope I may also have inspired other women to make television in front or behind the camera as a career. I smile when young woman says, 'I grew up watching you on TV.' It's their time now. 

2013

There will be special occasions and I will come back -- I'm not walking into the sunset. But I don't want to appear on another program. I don't want to climb another mountain. I want instead to sit in a sunny field and admire the very gifted women and, OK, some men too who will be taking my place.

2013

In the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all. It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasional bumpy ride and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm perfectly healthy. This is my decision. I've been thinking about it for a long time and this is what I want to do. 

2013

Television has changed. Some nominees have just been in one movie. It's a different time and I'd rather we left when people say 'Weren't they wonderful?' than they said, 'Oh, I've seen that.' I want the memories to be fresh. 

2010

If the result of the Trump feud was higher ratings, it also meant that Rosie seemed to be enjoying feuds. To my amazement she angrily berated me in the dressing room for not defending her enough. 

2008

 

The premise of 'The View' is that of a team working together, but for Rosie it was more like Diana Ross and the Supremes, as little by little she took over.

2008

Star seemed to have a difficult time finding another job. I still feel it might have been easier for her to find a new position if she had left the program in the graceful way we had suggested. 

2008

I was his claim to heterosexuality. He never said that he was gay, he never admitted to me that he had AIDS. He was a very complicated man. He died, alone, up to his ears in debt. He had been disbarred and he was hated. And I might have thought the same way, but he did something when my father was in trouble, [and] I never forgot that. 

2008

Jackie was very smart in many ways. She loved show business. I was sort of an introverted, sullen child. I don't think that my career ever affected her. I don't remember her ever being jealous. What she used to do is ask me to get autographed pictures of the people I interviewed. She didn't know them but she wanted their autographs. And when she died (of an aneurism after being diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 1985), I wish I'd kept them, but I didn't, I just threw out all those pictures, I mean it just broke my heart that she was living vicariously through these photographs of famous people.

2008

Because she was isolated, I was isolated. I didn't bring friends home and I didn't have birthday parties and I didn't join the Girl Scouts and it was my parents trying to protect her, although they certainly loved me. And I felt love for her but also pity, and there were times when I hated her and felt terribly guilty. I think anyone who has any member of their family who is disabled will feel that: You love them, you feel guilty, you feel torn. And she was my responsibility in many ways until she died. 

2008

I had wanted originally for [the book] to just be my childhood. I was going to call the book 'Sister,' because I thought that my childhood was unusual and poignant and because I thought that my sister, who would today be called intellectually impaired and then was called mentally retarded, was the most significant person in my life. 

2008

I think the biggest misconception about me, before 'The View,' is that I was very stern and very authoritative. My daughter says that 'The View' showed people that I have a sense of humor, but I think that when you're in a position of asking questions, the way I was, there was a feeling about me that I was very cold. 

2008

I loved his own warm-heartedness, I loved my hand in his, his humor. I sat in the rain with hundreds of Buddhist monks of all ages listening to him. He is very appealing. He says he is not a god, that he is a teacher. He's very modest. If I believed in anything I would believe in reincarnation. That would help explain some of the misery in life….and that perhaps the next life will be better. 

2006

I don't remember my parents ever lecturing me or discussing values.  I'm not sure where a moral compass comes from. Some people just don't have it. How do you get from meanness to kindness? 

2006

It's good to fail sometimes. When you fail, you have to prove yourself. That's often the best thing that can happen, because then you're sure your success isn't just luck. 

2004

The first night I did an interview—I talked with [Egyptian president] Anwar el-Sadat. Then the second night I interviewed [Israeli prime minister] Golda Meir. My publicity was so hideous. I got killed for it. That's when I did the now famous interview with Anwar el-Sadat and [Israeli prime minister] Menachem Begin, which was the first joint interview the two had ever done. Then I went to Cuba and spent ten days with Fidel Castro. 

2004

There's been a rumor rattling around for years, and it drives Diane Sawyer and me crazy. It's been said that we're competitive because Roone Arledge [the late president of ABC News] brought Diane over to do a newsmagazine show, and I did a newsmagazine. I just want to say that I have such admiration for Diane. We feel very good about each other. Always have. We can laugh together. This whole business that we've always been out to kill each other is such an old story. We're sick of it. 

2004

When my daughter was much younger, I walked into her room while she was watching Saturday Night Live. Gilda Radner was doing the Baba Wawa skit. I said, "Isn't that awful!" And she said, "Oh, Mother! Lighten up!" And I did. I thought, What am I so serious about? In a funny way, it's a compliment. I still don't like it, but, I mean, you can kind of see it. The Ba-Ba. By the way, I now pronounce my r's much better than I did then. 

2002

Katharine Hepburn was talking about seeing things in black and white. That's what so many people respect about her -- that she's so definite. I had just come back from the Middle East, interviewing Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat. I told her that and said, "Ms. Hepburn, I don't see things in black and white very often. I see things in shades of gray." And she said, "Well, I pity you." 

2002

I don't want to sound like I've been around since the Civil War, but there has been enormous change since I started. When I began at NBC, I was the only female writer on the Today show. Another female couldn't get a job unless the woman writer either got married or died. Literally. 

2002

I find very often people like to confront rumors. It depends on how much they trust you. And you have to have a line between what is tasteful and what isn't. 

1974

Now here I was, half Jane Wyman, half Shirley Temple, and people began to stop me in the street and say, 'Don't worry, Barbara, it's all right, you won't lose your job.' It was really very touching. 

1974

Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties. 

1970

A great many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence and refinement so they think they will impress others with their command of obscure words. 

1970