For decades, Barbara Walters has been one of the most influential voices in the world of media, and her interviews have left lasting impressions. She’s had some of the most memorable interviews with celebrities, politicians, and more, but her ten best interviews stand out as the cream of the crop.
From Dolly Parton to Lucille Ball to Johnny Carson, Barbara Walters has talked to some of the most impressive people and given us a glimpse into their lives. Join us through Barbara Walters’ 10 Best Interviews of All Time.
1 Dolly Parton (1977)
From the humble beginnings of her childhood in rural Tennessee to her rise to superstardom, Dolly Parton shared an intimate conversation with Barbara Walters in 1977.
In their interview, Dolly showed off her tour bus and talked about how she made it big despite the doubts of those around her. It was a poignant and memorable moment for both Barbara Walters and Dolly Parton fans.
2 Barbra Streisand (1975)
In 1975, Barbara Walters had the chance to sit down with Barbra Streisand before the release of her movie Funny Lady. During their conversation, Barbra discussed her anxieties about being misunderstood by the press and how television allowed her just to be herself. It was a powerful moment that showed the raw vulnerability and strength of this iconic artist.
“Television sees you as you are. I like that,” Streisand quipped. “But the things that are written about you can be so misunderstood so easily.”
3 Lucille Ball (1977)
In 1977, Barbara Walters continued her quest for in-depth interviews with a conversation with the iconic Lucille Ball. Lucille opened up about her complicated relationship with Desi Arnaz and her second marriage to producer Gary Morton. It was a candid discussion that showed just how honest and forthright Lucille Ball could be when sharing her story.
4 Katharine Hepburn (1981)
In 1981, Barbara Walters had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn. In an introduction full of admiration, Walters said, “If I could only interview one person, over and over again, for the rest of my life, I would pick Katharine Hepburn.”
This remarkable moment put viewers face-to-face with a true icon, allowing them to see her wit, wisdom, and charm firsthand.
5 Fidel Castro (1977)
In 1977, Barbara Walters went toe-to-toe with one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century: Fidel Castro. Despite his guarded nature, Walters secured two interviews with the Cuban leader, which provided a rare insight into the ideologies and views of a man who had just overthrown a long-standing dictatorship. Her discussions were thoughtful and respectful, yet still frank, allowing her to uncover some of the depths of Castro’s character.
6 Michael Jackson (1997)
In 1997, Barbara Walters had a special and exclusive interview with Michael Jackson. Despite the intensely personal nature of the questions asked and the controversy surrounding him, Jackson opened up to Walters about his relationship with Princess Diana, his experiences with the paparazzi, and how he coped while under constant public scrutiny.
Through this interview, viewers were able to gain an understanding of Jackson’s struggles and appreciation for his courage in discussing such sensitive topics on television.
7 Priscilla Presley (1985)
In 1985, Barbara Walters had an interview with Priscilla Presley that was as intriguing as it was revealing. In the sit-down, Priscilla opened up about falling in love with the 24-year-old King of Rock at the young age of 14, her struggles to fit in after their divorce, and the pressure she felt from the tabloids and fans.
Despite being thrown into a world of fame and scrutiny, Priscilla showed remarkable strength and resilience throughout her life. Her candid discussion with Walters provided insight into her journey as a young woman navigating fame.
8 Elizabeth Taylor (1997)
In 1997, Barbara Walters had an exclusive interview with Elizabeth Taylor that was unlike any other. In the interview, Taylor opened up about her battles with addiction and her headline-making love life, as well as her lowest lows and highest highs.
Just days before undergoing surgery for a brain tumor, Taylor spoke candidly and vulnerably about her struggles over the years. It was a remarkable testament to Taylor’s strength and resilience, and viewers were able to gain a deeper understanding of the iconic actress through this groundbreaking interview.
9 Robin Williams (1991)
In 1991, Barbara Walters had the opportunity to interview legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams in a candid sit-down. During the segment, Williams opened up about his comedic genius, his difficult battle with depression.
It was an insightful yet humorous look at the man behind some of America’s most beloved actors. Viewers were able to gain a better understanding of Williams and what made him such an iconic figure.
10 Johnny Carson (1984)
In 1984, Barbara Walters had the chance to interview legendary late-night talk show host Johnny Carson. During their conversation, Carson opened up about some of the most memorable moments in his career and what it was like being an entertainer during the golden age of television.
With hilarious anecdotes and one-liners, Carson shared his unique brand of comedic genius and insight into what made him so successful. It was a look at a beloved television figure that viewers won’t soon forget.