Barbara Walters Believed Clint Eastwood Was the One Who Got Away after Their 'Sad Love Story'

Joe Akins
Feb 16, 2022
01:40 P.M.
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Barbara Walters is undoubtedly one of the greatest journalists; however, the retired broadcaster nurses a regret involving Hollywood's leading man, Clint Eastwood.


Barbara Walters' name needs no introduction to both the old and new generations. The 92-year-old is one of the most renowned American broadcasters of all time. 

Walters is a famous journalist loved for her beauty and daring personality. Her sense of humor and looks often pitched her with some of the leading men in Hollywood. However, some of such romances were never meant to be.

TV Journalist Barbara Walters during an appearance on CNN [left]. Legendary actor Clint Eastwood on the set of a movie [right] | Photo:



While the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King are popular with the modern generation, they all learned a thing or two from Walters, who was one of the pioneers of modern American journalism.

Walters spent over a decade on the "Today Show," during which she made it one of the most-watched American shows. She was also the first female anchor of an evening news program.

Walters sealed her place as a classy journalist throughout the '60s and '70s, making her mark with her unique interview style while working on both NBC's "Today Show" and ABC's "20/20."


Barbara Walters attends the Hollywood Reporter's 2016 35 Most Powerful People in Media at Four Seasons Restaurant | Photo: Getty Images

The iconic broadcaster rose through the ranks to become one of the leading figures in journalism. Shortly after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in English, Walters worked with Republican activist Tex McCary of WRCA-TV.


It was there she learned the ropes of the industry. Despite her skills and potential, Walters' career almost ended before it began.

The retired broadcaster revealed that she once thought her career was over in the '70s after flopping as an anchorwoman. At the time, she partnered with Harry Reasoner.

TV personality Barbara Walters attends the New York Public Library Lunch 2016: A New York State of Mind | Photo: Getty Images


The renowned writer was taken off the news show and put back into reporting. Although this was largely seen as a demotion, Walters used it as fuel, put in the work, and earned a place at the top.

The "The View" host went on to win a series of awards and accolades after the early disappointment, including the President's Award.

In addition, Walters was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1990. But, despite all her achievements, the former "Today" host passed up one of the most significant opportunities that came her way.

TV journalist Barbara Walters is interviewed after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 30th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards | Photo: Getty Images



Clint is undoubtedly one of the biggest flirts in the industry. However, his excellent acting skills precede any other titles or popularity he received because of his affiliations with multiple women.

Clint has dated some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Maggie Johnson, Dina Eastwood, Christina Sandera, Roxanne Tunis, Sondra Locke, Jacelyn Reeves, and Frances Fisher. The actor famously broke the hearts of some ladies but was unable to win some.

Clint Eastwood visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on September 6, 2016 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images


Walters was one of the women Clint could not add to his list of conquered women. However, the two shared a little history, but a romance seemed unachievable. 

Walters once opened up on her story with Clint. The duo met after the "Today" show host interviewed Clint. Soon, it looked like there was about to be another love story, but things took a quick twist.

Barbara Walters speaks at the The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum presents An Evening with Barbara Walters at Harvard University on October 7, 2014 | Photo: Getty Images



The "20/20" host confessed that she declined an opportunity for a romantic relationship with Clint. According to the journalist, the Hollywood star was flirtatious and charming. She said, "He was very flirtatious, and I was very taken (with him)."

After their interview, Clint made a move and asked Walters out for dinner, but she opted to maintain professionalism. Recalling the moment, she said:

 "He asked me if I wanted to have dinner ... and I said, 'No, I have to work.' You know, I don't mix business with pleasure."

Barbara Walters attends TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images


Walters confessed that she regretted giving up the opportunity. The duo married different people and met many years later at the premiere of Clint's movie "Jersey Boys." Walters tried to make up for lost opportunities.

The iconic interviewer said she dressed to impress the Hollywood icon but surprisingly, he was courteous, unlike their first encounter. Walters had to live with the knowledge that she walked away first.

Barbara Walters signs copies of her book Audition: A Memoir at Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Square on May 6, 2008 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images



Although a romance with Clint failed to work, Walters caught the attention of other men. She ended up marrying three different men, but each left her with a lesson.

Barbara's first husband was Robert Henry Katz, a former Navy officer and business leader. On June 20, 1955, the couple tied the knot at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. 

Barbara Walters and businessman and theatre producer Lee Guber, relax at their home in New York, circa 1966 | Photo: Getty Images


Walters was only 26-years-old at the time and was yet to be a global star. However, things failed to work between the pair, and their marriage was annulled in 1958.

Years after her first divorce, Walters gave love another shot but this time with a theatrical producer, Lee Guber. Guber was also a theatrical producer and theater owner in the entertainment sector.

Walters was at the start of her career as a journalist when they got married. She was a new face at NBC's" The Today Show."

Barbara Walters and Merv Adelson attend the American Museum of the Moving Image Honors Sidney Poitier on February 28, 1989 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City | Photo: Getty Images


The couple got married in 1964 and decided to start a family together, but this proved to be more difficult than they imagined. Walters and Guber later settled for adoption and welcomed their only child together, Jacqueline Dena.

The duo divorced after 13 years together. Walters continued her search for true love, and later met Merv Adelson. Things got serious between the pair after meeting on a blind date.

Adelson, the CEO of Lorimar Televisions, tied the knot with the show host in 1981. Walters's career was beginning to gain widespread attention at the time. However, their first marriage only lasted three years. They split in 1984.


Barbara Walters and Merv Adelson, circa 1985, in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Staying apart proved difficult, and they tried to revive their romance. The couple walked down the aisle for the second time in 1986, but even a second chance was not enough to save their marriage. They split for good in 1992. However, they remained friends long after their marriage. 


Despite her fulfilling and adventurous life, Walters regrets not having more children. The show host only has a child from her three marriages. When quizzed what her greatest regret was, she said,

"I regret not having more children. I would have loved to have a bigger family."



Walters and her daughter Jackie didn't see eye to eye for many years. As a result, the iconic journalist often bore the guilt of seeing her daughter struggle with many vices and being unable to assist.

The 92-year-old felt she would have done more to be present in Jackie's life. However, Walters has learned to see the brighter side of things and learn from her regret. These days, she no longer blames herself for her bad choices but instead sees the good around her.

Barbara Walters and her daughter Jacqueline Guber at the American Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Barbara Walters on March 19, 1992, in New York City | Photo: Getty Images


Her daughter, Jackie, now has a girls-only emotional rehabilitation program similar to the one that changed her life. Seeing her daughter make progress puts a smile on Walters's face and banishes any form of guilt.

Things with Jackie have gotten special. The mother-daughter duo shares a special bond. Walters might not be her biological mother, but family goes beyond sharing a bloodline, and Jackie understands that.

TV journalist Barbara Walters and daughter Jacqueline Guber attend the Sixth Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on January 7, 1990 at 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City, California | Photo: Getty Images

Speaking of her relationship with Walters, Jackie said, "Mommies can have babies either from their tummies or from their hearts. So she had me from her heart." Such comments underline how bonded the pair have become over the years.