Barbara Walters is celebrating her birthday. The news veteran and co-creator of The View turned 90 years old on Sept. 25. While there have been rumors of her failing health and her estrangement from her longtime co-stars, at least one former View host is wishing her a happy birthday as the broadcast legend enters the age of a nonagenarian.
In a heartfelt tribute posted to Instagram, Elisabeth Hasselbeck reminisced about her long friendship with Walters. The former View star shared a series of photos of her with Walters as she described her as a “mentor.”
In the poignant post, Hasselbeck looked back on Walters’ career and her journey through motherhood, and Hasselbeck thanked the legendary ABC News star for teaching her “everything” she knows. Hasselbeck revealed that while she and Walters did not always agree on Hot Topics on The View, they “never let go of one another’s hands” during their 10-year stint as co-stars on the daytime talk show.
The former View star also thanked Walters for not firing her after a passionate defense of her pro-life stance during an especially heated on-air debate, and she credited her former boss for going to bat for her when ABC did not renew her contract on The View back in 2013.
You can see Hasselbeck’s 90th birthday tribute to Walters below.
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Today- I’m thankful that I got to sit next to Barbara Walters - my friend and mentor - for 10 of her 90 years. Writing about this woman in Point of View was emotional. When I look through these pictures I stand with gratitude from learning from a woman who leaned into stores that most disregarded. She sat with those that no one would sit with, she was a mother through adoption and told JACKIE she was born in her heart. Whenever I was sick she made the first call to her doctor. She is the most curious woman I know and the best listener. Barbara- though some days we held onto our positions on hot topics with passion-we never let go of one another’s hand. We had some heated moments but those were nothing compared to the warmth of sitting by your side and being your tv daughter. Thank you for loving on me. Tough love and true love. Thank you for teaching me everything I could ever hope to learn in broadcasting. Thank you for not firing me when I was pregnant And hormonal and when defending the life of the unborn in the heat of the moment, asked to be fired if I could not be a voice for the voiceless. Years later - Thank you for calling Roger Ailes for me when it was out of your hands when ABC did not renew my contract. Thank you for always reaching out on my behalf. Today we celebrate you, and the near century of stories that were told and shared because of your listening ear and heart. You are one of a kind. #SistersKeeper - may this day be one of celebrating the day YOU were born: God’s creation with an purposeful heart ????happy birthday ????
The sweet post comes amid rumors that Hasselbeck tried to quit The View seven years earlier than her actual departure after getting into a major fight with Walters about abortion during a Hot Topics debate in 2006.
Earlier this year, Page Six excerpted the explosive incident that was detailed in Ramin Setoodeh’s tell-all, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View. According to the book, Hasselbeck got into a heated exchange with Walters over the “morning-after” pill. After Walters cut her off, Hasselbeck allegedly told former View executive producer Bill Geddie that she was quitting the show during a commercial break.
“I don’t need to be reprimanded on the air like that by this woman. I will take it in the meeting. I will not take that on the air. I’m leaving,” Hasselbeck reportedly said of Walters.
While Hasselbeck went back on the air and ended up staying on The View until 2013, she did not participate in a 2016 reunion with Walters, further fueling feud rumors.
The details regarding Hasselbeck’s eventual 2013 departure from The View have never been fully explained. In an interview with Parade, Hasselbeck vowed to keep the details of her exit from the show to herself.
“We say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I choose not to discuss any of that because I like to honor the confidence and trust that I’ve been offered,” she said.
But in her 2019 book, Point of View, Hasselbeck wrote of the “betrayal” she felt when her contract for The View wasn’t renewed.
Based on her birthday post, however, fans now know that Barbara Walters, at least, had her back.