Barbara Walters dies, her interviews included Connery

Barbara Walters (1929-2022)

Barbara Walters, one of the most famous American news interviewers of her era, has died at 93, according to multiple reports, including an obituary published by The Washington Post.

Walters over her career interviewed major newsmakers and celebrities. With the latter, one of her most notable interviews aired on ABC in 1987 with actor Sean Connery, the first film James Bond actor.

In that interview, Walters famously asked the actor about striking women.

Citing an earlier interview, Walters quoted Connery as saying, “You don’t do it with a clenched fist, you do it with an open hand.”

“I haven’t changed my opinion,” Connery responded.

“You haven’t?” Walters said.

“No, I haven’t.”

“You think it’s good to slap a woman?” the interviewer asked.’

“I don’t think it’s good,” Connery said. “I think it depends on the circumstances.” It would be one of the most famous interviews of the actor’s career.

Walters was one of the first women to make an impact on U.S. television news shows. She was a co-host on NBC’s Today show in the 1960s. ABC hired her away in the 1970s as co-anchor of that network’s evening news show. ABC also produced entertainment specials where she interviewed celebrities. At one point, NBC’s Saturday Night Live had comic actress Gilda Radner doing a parody of Walters dubbed “Barbara Wa-Wa.”

When ABC hired Walters, she was paid $1 million a year. Walters soon was almost as famous as those she interviewed.

Here is how The Washington Post summarized her career:

Ms. Walters repeatedly enjoyed the last guffaw over doubters and detractors during a career spanning five decades. She shattered glass ceilings, sending shards into many male egos. She became the most durable and versatile TV host of her era, as well as a celebrity more controversial than many of the ones she covered.

Here is part of her interview with Connery: