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Thursday
May152014

Former "View" Co-Hosts Reunite for Barbara Walters' Farewell

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- It was deja vu on The View Thursday as all 11 co-hosts gathered for the first time in the show's 17-year history to say farewell to Barbara Walters as she officially retires from daily television.

Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck joined current co-hosts Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy and Whoopi Goldberg on stage to share their favorite memories of Walters ahead of her final show on Friday.

"I love you all," Walters told them. "I'm so proud that you're here. I'm so proud that we are still friends. I mean not everyone can say that and work with people and still love them. I thank all of you. I have been honored to share this table with you."

Like all good friends, the co-hosts first took a moment to catch up, each recapping how their families were doing. While Viera updated the audience on her three kids and husband, Richard, Walters asked Jones about her "silly little dog," who was doing "very good. Thank you very much," according to Jones.

Jones joked that her favorite memory of Walters was how much she plugged her work on 20/20 and her specials. Joking aside, Jones added that Walters taught her, "if you care about the work that you've done, you need to tell people about it or they won't care about it."

Ling chimed in, adding that the best advice Walters ever gave her was: "Don't neglect your personal life." While Hasselbeck said the greatest lesson she learned from Walters was "be prepared to be unprepared. That has really helped me in so many situations."

Matenopoulos, who recently revealed that she was expecting a child with husband Jon Falcone, showed off her five-month baby bump during the reunion. She also got very emotional while sharing the story of her audition for The View at age 22, when she was a pink-haired VJ for MTV.

"I show up and there is a sea of famous women," she recalled. "One woman made a snide comment to me...and I turned around to walk out of the door and I said, 'That's it. I'm leaving.' And as I opened the door there stood Barbara Walters and she put her hand on my shoulder and she said, 'Debbie, I'm so glad you came.'"

"It gave me the confidence and courage to continue and that's the same confidence and courage you gave me every day on this set," Matenopoulos said, wiping away tears.

Behar told a couple of funny stories and later joked that the love fest was "like the last supper" with Walters.

Asked what she missed most about the show, O'Donnell quipped, "Fighting with the skinny one here" -- pointing to Hasselbeck who was seated next to her.

Walters will make her final appearance as a co-host Friday on The View.


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