Oprah Winfrey and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have surprised Barbara Walters as the legendary American newswoman taped her final edition of The View to end a five-decade career on television.
Actor Michael Douglas, a longtime friend and frequent subject for Walters' interviews, also dropped by for the tribute.
The 84-year-old Walters was presiding over a studio audience of friends, colleagues and fans on hand to witness television history.
Although she will retain a behind-the-scenes role as executive producer of the talk show she created 17 years ago, she is ending her daily on-air involvement, while limiting her appearances to the occasional story or interview.
Oprah has helped journalist Barbara Walters tape her final edition of The View and retire from TV.
"I can't believe this day has come, and I can't believe it's for real," Clinton told Walters, who began her career in 1962.
Walters couldn't let Clinton get away without fielding the question on so many minds: Is she running for president in 2016?
"I am running," smiled Clinton. "Around the park."
A bit later, Douglas brought the subject up again with Walters.
"If Hillary runs," he said, "I bet you'd be a great vice president."
Some of the best moments reportedly happened during commercial breaks. Then audience members could snap photos and interact with Walters and her co-panellists (Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy).
The audience erupted at the sight of Winfrey who told Walters: "You're the reason I wanted to be in television."
"You shattered the glass ceiling for so many women," said Winfrey, who brought on a startling parade of them, some two dozen prominent on-air women in the United States including Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, Gayle King, Connie Chung and Joan Lunden.
"You are my legacy," Walters said to them as they crowded around her onstage.