7 Of Barbara Walters' Best And Worst Interviews From Her 52-Year Career On Television [VIDEO]

Barbara Walters
Journalist Barbara Walters arrives for "A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception" in New York May 14, 2014. Walters is set to retire after more than five decades in journalism. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Legendary TV journalist Barbara Walters said goodbye on her ABC talk show “The View” on Friday, marking the end of a 52-year career in which she interviewed countless guests -- from world leaders to mega-celebrities. Some of her highest-profile "gets" include old-Hollywood star Katharine Hepburn, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. While Walters, 74, is known for her groundbreaking interviews, she has also made a number of blunders along the way, which some of her colleagues have never let her forget.

Take a look back at some of the best interviews and blunders from Walters' five-decade career on television.

1977: Fidel Castro 

Barbara Walters got a rare opportunity to interview then Cuban dictator and president Fidel Castro in 1977. Castro answered many of her questions on topics ranging from freedom of the press to the U.S. embargo. The full five-hour interview aired on Cuban television in an unprecedented move by the government, making it the first interview with an American journalist to be shown in the Communist country.

1981: Katharine Hepburn

“What kind of a tree are you, if you think you’re a tree?” Walters famously asked Katharine Hepburn in her 1981 interview. It was a moment that people would look back to for years.

1997: Michael Jackson

Walters sat down with the “King of Pop” in 1997 to talk about the role of paparazzi in his life while also discussing his reaction to the death of Princess Diana.

1999: Monica Lewinsky

With a record-setting 74 million viewers watching, Walters grilled Monica Lewinsky about the aftermath of the White House intern's affair with President Bill Clinton, which surfaced in 1998.

“What will you tell your children when you have them?” Walters asked her. To which Lewinsky replied, “Mommy made a big mistake.” 

Walters ended the interview and looked at the camera, saying, “And that is the understatement of the year.”

2010: Bill O’Reilly

Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set of “The View” during a heated discussion with political talk-show host Bill O’Reilly over a proposed Islamic community center after O’Reilly reasoned that the building was inappropriate because “Muslims killed us on 9/11.”

After Goldberg and Behar left, Walters angrily declared, “You have just seen what should have not happened. We should be able to have a discussion without washing our hands [of it] and screaming and walking off stage.”

“I love my colleagues, but that should have not have happened,” Walters continued.

2011: Jessica Hahn

The tables got turned on Walters during this interview with Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary who was questioned relentlessly about her scandalous relationship with Jim Bakker, a married television evangelist. Hahn snapped back at Walters, pointing out that Walters had written about her own affair with the married Sen. Edward Brooke in her book “Audition.”

“This is about you, my dear, this is not about me,” Walters quickly responded -- but she was relatively quiet for the rest of the interview.

2010: Oprah

It’s not often that the queen of talk shows is the one taking the questions. But in this 2010 interview, Oprah Winfrey shared intimate details of her life with Walters, even shedding a few tears in the process.

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