ENTERTAINMENT

Barbara Walters gets ready to say goodbye

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(WJLA) - After walking on to “The View” set one last time tomorrow, Barbara Walters admits that it will be hard to let go.

Even until the very end, the 84-year-old has managed to be very much a part of the conversation, snagging some of the biggest exclusives in the news businesses.

When we visited her on the set and asked her about her admirable work ethic and concerns about family, Walters was candid about a major motivation throughout her career:

"My father was in show business, and was very famous. He ran nightclubs -- at the time, the most important nightclub in New York. But show business is precarious, and I was always afraid he would lose it all -- and he did."

Adding to the stress, Walters’ beloved sister was mentally disabled. And even after decades of success, this television icon worried about being the stable family provider.

"It gave me -- you know -- 'I gotta do it! I gotta do it!' And...it's sort of gone away, that's why i'm able to leave. But it lasted for many years."

Early on, it wasn’t easy. Walters was the first to knock down many barriers for women in the news business, becoming the first female co-host on television news at the Today Show, and the first female evening news co-anchor. She managed to overcome a difficult Harry Reasoner, who didn’t want her by his side in a business driven by daily competition coupled with long and stressful hours.

While she will continue to co-produce “The View,” Walters says she finally feels at peace. And as she steps away from the daily grind, she wants two things: for her legacy to be the doors she opened for all women, and this for the day after tomorrow:
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"Number one, I'm going to sleep late; number two, I'm going to sleep late; number three, I'm going to sleep all day."

Walters says ending her career on daily television feels like falling off a cliff without a parachute, but something she is looking forward to trying.

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