A look back at the pioneering journalist’s ascent as documented in the pages of Variety
By Cynthia Littleton, December 31, 2022
It’s hard to imagine Barbara Walters as anything other than a marquee-name, intrepid and pioneering journalist. But she didn’t get there overnight. A look back at the early career of the broadcast journalist, who died Dec. 30 at age 93, as documented in the pages of Variety shows the clear trajectory of a well-connected, industrious young woman who was destined to reach the summit of New York media and literati circles.
Variety’s coverage of Walters’ climb starting in the early 1950s also neatly tracks the rise of network TV news as a cultural force, and the subsequent evolution of TV news personalities into celebrities.
Walters’ status as the daughter of Broadway producer, booking agent and nightclub owner Lou Walters surely afforded her an early entrée into attention from Variety. Her first few references always included a reference to her father’s showbiz pedigree. But it wasn’t long before the younger Walters was earning items on her own. Barbara Walters stood out for the quality of her work even before she was on camera.
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