Barbara Walters is mourning her longtime personal assistant on The View, who died this week of ovarian cancer at the age of 39.
Walters released a statement remembering Lauren Brennan Anglero as a dedicated employee and kind-hearted woman, who now leaves behind a husband and young children. Anglero was a mainstay behind the scenes of the show, working closely with Walters.
In her statement, Walters said that her heart breaks for Anglero’s husband and twins.
“There was always a lot to juggle in preparation for a live show, but Lauren was a hard worker, always ready to spring when I needed something and did so with a beautiful smile,” Walters said in a statement, via USA Today.
The co-hosts of The View also spoke out about Anglero’s death on Friday’s show, with Joy Behar noting that she had worked for ABC for the last 16 years, making it the only job Lauren ever had. Behar noted that it was a vert short illness for Anglero, and Whoopi Goldberg added some advice to viewers that they get regular checkups.
The public statement for Barbara Walters is the first since reports that the longtime television anchor was in deteriorating health. Rosie O’Donnell, Barbara’s former co-host on The View, gave a heartbreaking update to Us Weekly that Walters now finds it difficult to take visitors.
“I don’t think she’s up to speaking to people now,” O’Donnell said. “I think she’s a wonderful woman, and it’s hard to age in America, never mind if you’re internationally famous.”
Various reports have indicated that the 90-year-old television legend has seen her health decline rapidly in recent months, including reports that she is suffering from dementia and is having difficulty remembering people close to her. Walters was absent when the co-hosts of The View paid tribute to her 90th birthday a few weeks ago, though Whoopi Goldberg has pushed back against reports of her ill health and said that the rumors are greatly exaggerated.
“As far I know, she’s fine. I keep reading stuff that she’s crawling across the tundra. That’s not been my experience with her,” Goldberg told Extra of her longtime co-host.
It is not clear how much truth there are to the reports that Barbara Walters is in failing health, as she has become a popular target for tabloids. There have been reports for years that Walters could be in her final months, although these have proven to be off the mark.