6 of Barbara Walters's Most Memorable Interviews

Erica Palan
Tammie Arroyo/GettyImages

On December 30, 2022, pioneering journalist Barbara Walters passed away at the age of 93. Walters, who began her career in 1961 on the Today show, has dominated TV news for more than a half-century and interviewed hundreds of famous people during that time. She was renowned for her hard-hitting, tough-as-nails interview style. Here are six of her most memorable moments.

1. Katharine Hepburn

Walters was teased mercilessly for asking the famous actress what kind of tree she would be.

2. Monica Lewinsky

This 1999 interview was seen by 74 million viewers, making it the third highest-rated television interview ever. (Oprah Winfrey’s 1993 interview with Michael Jackson holds the top spot, followed by Oprah’s 2021 sit-down with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

3. Fidel Castro

Walters expertly interviewed the dictator in 1977. Twenty-five years later, they revisited the interview and sparred over some of the same topics.

4. Johnny Carson

In 1984, Walters sat down with the late-night host for a wide-ranging—and fascinating—chat.

5. Elizabeth Taylor

The broadcaster was good friends with Taylor. Here, she spoke to her after Taylor was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

6. Bashar al-Assad

This controversial interview with the Syrian ruler was headline-grabbing, in-your-face, and tough.

A version of this story ran in 2013; it has been updated for 2022.