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Barbara Walters Husband: Who were Merv Adelson, Lee Guber, Robert Henry Katz?

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Since her death, fans have wanted to know more about Barbara Walters’ husbands and who she was married to before she died. Walters once said she wasn’t “very good at marriage” after four divorces – including twice with a husband.

Walters, whose full name was Barbara Jill Walters, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 25, 1929. She joined the TODAY show in 1961 as a writer and researcher before becoming a correspondent. She made history in 1974 by becoming TODAYthe first female co-host and the first co-host of a major news program in the United States. walters left TODAY in 1976 and signed a five-year, $5 million contract with ABC, making her the highest-paid news anchor in the United States at the time, regardless of gender.

Along with ABC Evening NewsWalters also began hosting shows such as 20/20 until she created In cash, a daytime talk show featuring hosts from “different generations, backgrounds, and points of view,” in 1997. The show, which Walters also co-hosted and executive produced, earned her a 2003 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show. walters left In cash in 2014, after 17 years co-hosting the show. “I had to be here for your last show, to celebrate you, because of what you meant to me,” guest star Oprah Winfrey told Walters in her final episode. “You literally meant the world to me. … Like everyone else, I want to thank you for being pioneers and for all that that word means. It means to be first; the first in the room to knock down the door, break down the barriers, pave the road we all walk. I thank you for this. And I thank you for the courage it takes every day to get up and keep doing it.”

After more than 60 years as a broadcast journalist, Walters died on December 30, 2022, aged 93. So who were Barbara Walters’ husbands and why did they get divorced? Read what we know about Barbara Walters’ husbands and her three marriages before her death.

Who were Barbara Walters’ husbands? Read on to learn about Walters’ three ex-husbands: Robert Henry Katz, Lee Guber, and Merv Adelson.

Merv Adelson (1981 – 1984 and 1986 – 1992)

Barbara Walters, Merv Adelson

Image: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images.

Merv Adelson was the third and final husband of Barbara Walters. Adelson, a television producer and former CEO of Lorimar Television, met on a blind date and married in 1981. They divorced in 1984. Adelson and Walters rekindled their relationship and were married a second time in 1986 before getting divorced again in 1992. “Merv was a kind, gentle man with a great sense of humor,” said Walters. The New York Times newspaper in 2015. “We became friends long after our marriage.” Adelson died on September 9, 2015, from cancer. He was 85 years old.

In an interview in Oprah’s Master Class in 2014, Walters hinted that her busy career played a role in her three divorces. “Listen, I certainly haven’t been very good at marriage,” she said. “Perhaps if he was too busy… Marriages like that seem to work.” She continued, “I’ve always been attracted to men who are busy and successful in their own lives. By the way, I want to mention the one thing that changed others’ perception of me: it’s the view. People realized that I could be silly and funny. I had to wonder if being on that show would interfere with my interviews with heads of state. Would I still be able to make tough news? I had been around long enough to have the reputation, so I could do both.

Lee Guber (1963-1976)

Barbara Walters, Lee Guber

Image: Murray Feierberg/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images.

Lee Guber was the second husband of Barbara Walters. Guber, a theater owner and producer, and Walters were married on December 8, 1963. They adopted their first and only child, a daughter named Jacqueline Dena Guber, in 1968. Jacqueline was born in June 1968 and was less than a year old when she was adopted. Walters and Guber named Jacqueline after Walter’s older sister Jackie, who was born mentally challenged and died of ovarian cancer in 1985.

“I had three miscarriages and my husband and I decided we were going to adopt a child,” Walters said in a 2014 interview on Oprah’s Master Class. “One night we had dinner with a couple we rarely saw and the woman said she had a little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and they wanted to adopt a boy… who was going to be tall. They didn’t want the girl. So we said, ‘Let’s take the girl!’” She continued, “Oh, I adore my daughter. Knowing you’ll have the kind of love I feel for her. … I’m laughing because [she] recently told me, ‘Mom, when you have Alzheimer’s, you can come down and live near me.’ I take that as a very loving compliment.

Walters and Guber were divorced in 1976. Guber died in March 1988 of brain cancer. He was 67 years old. Walters and Jacqueline had a rocky relationship. In an interview with NBC News in 2002, Jacqueline revealed that she struggled with her mother’s career and often felt that she didn’t “fit into her world”. “I think somewhere inside you think, ‘Why did people give up on me?’ I think that was a big, big part of it. I think my mother, being who she is, played a big part in that,” she said. “I never felt like I fit into her world. Because everyone around me back then when I was a kid wanted to progress and achieve and progress.

She opened up about her drug abuse issues when she was younger, which started when she was 13 and further “isolated” her from her mother. “I was a fugitive. I loved to run. I thought running would solve all my problems,” said Jacqueline at the time. “It was hard. I mean, I went to school with all these cute, little, little, you know, adorable four-foot-tall girls. And you know here I was a big gangly girl. She continued , “I used marijuana. It was called crank back then, but now it’s meth. Quaaludes were everywhere. Valium. And the drugs dulled all other feelings. But it didn’t take away the problems I had. They got bigger and bigger. I was increasingly isolated from my mother’s world. And I thought running would solve all my problems.

In his 2014 special, Barbara Walters: Her TV Story, Walters revealed that his busy career played a role in his relationship with Jacqueline. “I was so busy with a career. It’s the old problem,” she said. “And, you know, on your deathbed, you’re going to say, ‘Would you like to spend more time at the office?’ Do not. You’ll say, ‘I’d like to spend more time with my family,’ and I feel that way. I wish I could have spent more time with my Jackie. She continued, “I want to be remembered by my daughter as a good and loving mother.”

Robert Henry Katz (1955-1957)

Robert “Bob” Henry Katz was Barbara Walters’ first husband. Katz, a former Navy lieutenant and business executive whose family owned a children’s cap company, and Walters were married at The Plaza Hoel in New York City, New York, on June 20, 1955, when Walters was 26 years. They filed for divorce in 1957 and had their marriage annulled in 1958.

Walters nicknamed him Katz Hats and tried to break off the engagement before the wedding because it bored her, but went through with the marriage at the insistence of her father, Latin Quarter nightclub owner Lou Walters, who had already rented out the ballroom at The Plaza. Hotel and believed her daughter’s concerns were just normal bridal nerves, according to Washington Post. “My heart has never felt so heavy. But . . . my heart was heavy every time I got married,” Walters wrote in 1955 after her and Katz’s marriage, according to The Washington Post.

Audition Barbara Walters

Courtesy of Knopf

To learn more about Barbara Walters, read her 2008 book, Listening: A Memoir. The New York Times newspaper The bestselling book takes readers through Walter’s life and groundbreaking career, from when she made history as the first female anchor on the TODAY show how she made a name for herself in the male-dominated broadcast industry hosting shows like ABC Night News, 20/20 and In cash, which she also created. The autobiography – which also follows Walter’s more than 50 years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures and celebrities such as Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn and the Dalai Lama – is a “moving and honest, surprising and funny” about the woman who interviewed some of the most interesting people in the world – and how she became one of them.

“Barbara Walters has spent her entire life auditioning: for her bosses on network TV, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world and even for her own daughter, with whom she had a difficult but ultimately wonderful life. and relationship on the go. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up about her private and public life,” the publisher’s description reads.

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