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Barbara Walters Met 2nd Spouse While Still Wearing Ring from Rich Ex Who Made Her Feel 'Trapped & Scared'

Gaone Pule
Jun 05, 2022
06:00 A.M.
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American journalist Barbara Walters endured hardships with her three failed marriages. Even though she tried to make them work, she had to choose herself for her sanity.


Retired broadcaster Barbara Walters met the son of a wealthy baby cap manufacturer, Robert Katz, in Florida, shortly after her graduation.

Walters and Katz soon wed in June 1955 when she was 26 years old. He was five years her senior. The couple exchanged wedding vows in a lavish ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters attending Museum of Television and Radio Gala Honoring Alan Alda and Barbara Walters at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on February 8, 1996. / Source: Getty Images


One of Walters' aunts recalled: "It was a gorgeous wedding. It was a very plush affair. Just like in the movies. And Bob was a very handsome guy."

Within a few months of living together as a newly-wedded couple, they realized their marriage was a mistake. Katz later confided in a pal that Walters had a cold demeanor and showed no interest in a physical relationship.

Moreover, she was not interested in playing the role of a wealthy businessman's wife. Katz was considered a catch by young women in Miami, and Walters agreed.

Though she was eager to marry him, she became uncertain about her decision two days before the wedding, saying reality set in for her.


Barbara Walters during The Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Symposium & Awards Luncheon at The Waldorf Astoria on October 9, 2014 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images

The author admitted that she was marrying a man who she found it difficult to speak to after she had already said yes to his proposal:


"I was marrying a man to whom I had nothing to say. I felt trapped and scared."

In her book "Audition: A Memoir," Walters mentioned that though Katz was a decent man, it became apparent daily that they had nothing in common. She tried to show an interest in his life by asking how his day was at work and even spending time with his family.

Barbara Walters at the "The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum presents An Evening with Barbara Walters" at Harvard University on October 7, 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. / Source: Getty Images


Author Jerry Oppenheimer wrote in his book "Barabara Walters: An Unauthorized Biography" that Katz believed his wife's unhappiness stemmed from the fact that she had nothing else to do with her time.

Therefore, he suggested that she find a career to keep herself busy, and as such, Walters found a job as a talent booker for the "Morning Show" on CBS.


Barbara Walters during the 2014 Women's Media Awards at Capitale on October 29, 2014 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images


But her marriage with Katz still did not work, leading the duo to divorce in 1957 after three years of matrimony. Oppenheimer revealed that reports which mentioned the pair's union stated it was short and sad.

Walters later said of her marriage to Katz: "I wouldn't know him if I met him," adding, "It was so brief that my father didn't think it should be on the record."

The "Today" host shared she went to Alabama to file for divorce and felt empty and defeated. Walters admitted that she felt like their marriage had never even taken place and that she did not miss anything about her relationship with Katz.

Barbara Walters as a guest host on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" on October 22, 1973. / Source: Getty Images


The Boston native revealed that she and Katz had decided that their marriage had died a natural death. In addition, she wanted to move out of the apartment as the union ended in a bitter aftertaste.

Following their divorce, Walters never talked about her former husband and regarded him as a taboo subject. However, a year after they parted ways, the TV personality was still wearing the engagement ring Katz had given her.

The three-carat diamond ring glistened when she entered a party room hosted by Frank Loessner with guests including Lee Guber, a theatrical producer. Like Katz, Guber was considered an eligible bachelor even though he had been married before and had two kids.


Barbara Walters and her husband, businessman Lee Guber, pictured on a couch at home in 1966, New York. / Source: Getty Images

He was wealthy, attractive, friendly, and had a good personality, not forgetting his uncanny resemblance to Katz. The sociologist preferred good-looking women with intellect, and Walters fit the criteria.


Guber had been going out with Walters' friend Joyce Ashley who later set them up on a blind date at the Friars Club in New York. The pair went on a long walk that night and got to know each other.

Walters recalled that there was chemistry between them and that the conversation was going well until she learned what Guber did for a living. Like her father, he was a theatrical producer.

TV personality Barbara Walters attending the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images


"The View" star said she had promised herself she would stay away from men who were in showbiz because of the experience she had with her dad:

"After my experiences with my father, I had sworn to myself that I would never get involved with anyone in show business."

However, she later learned that he was different from her father as he was involved in multiple projects and co-owned a company called Music Fair Enterprises with two partners, among other things.

Barbara Walters during the Broadway Opening Night performance of "Gigi" at The Neil Simon Theatre on April 8, 2015 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images


Despite it all, Walters still liked Guber even though his profession was a concern for her. Nonetheless, after several months, she convinced herself that he was not the same kind of showman as her father.

What set the two men apart was that Walters' dad was a dreamer, whereas Guber was a realist. In addition, her boyfriend was practical and did not gamble, whereas her father was extravagant. Guber ran a successful production company, and she decided that he was a businessman.


Walters started taking Guber seriously, and they had a five-year on-and-off relationship. During that period, she often served as a hostess for his parties.


In the meanwhile, her career was also taking off. In the five years that she and Guber were going back and forth, she moved up from public relations to "The Today Show" as a writer and had some on-camera reporting assignments.

At the same time, Guber also pressured her to marry him, but she did not want to commit because the decision was difficult for her. Interestingly, it all changed when John Kennedy was assassinated.

Barbara Walters sitting at home with her spouse, theatre producer Lee Guber in 1966, New York. / Source: Getty Images


The president's burial was televised, and Walters was assigned to do a running commentary. She exceeded expectations with that assignment and made an impression on "The Today Show" producer Al Morgan.

Even Guber gave her a call after watching her cover the funeral, and this time, he did not take no for an answer. The next evening, Guber went to pick her up at her home in an NBC limo, telling her that life is too short and that they should wed right away.

Walters said yes and revealed everything happened in a short period, so she did not have time to get cold feet. The pair tied the knot two weeks later in December 1963 in a rushed arranged ceremony at a friend's apartment.


Barbara Walters during an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Season 2 on December 11, 2014. / Source: Getty Images

Once again, her old "demons" resurfaced, and even though Guber was a good man, she loved him but was not passionately in love with him:


"Again, I felt trapped and restless. Perhaps I wasn't just cut out for marriage."

Walters questioned whether she had made the right decision to marry Guber, adding there were days she missed him and days when she did not miss him at all. She believed they would not be happy together but also knew she was unhappy without him.


Barbara Walters attending the American Friends Of Magen David Adom Annual Benefit Dinner at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on December 2, 2014 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images


Regardless, she stayed with Guber and later developed the desire to have a child. Walters knew that her husband would make a great father, having observed his relationship with his two children, Zev, then 16, and Carol, then 17.

The journalist grew close to Carol, who was at the time going through puberty. Walters said Guber's kids were a bonus. Soon, she found out she was pregnant and was elated by the news because she desperately wanted a baby.

Even Guber was over the moon when he learned that he would be a father again, but sadly, his wife suffered a miscarriage and was devastated. The "20/20" host blamed herself because she worked too hard and believed she would have continued with the pregnancy if she were not.


Barbara Walters during the "Traditional Home Magazine" 25th Anniversary Dinner And Classic Woman Awards at 583 Park Avenue on October 27, 2014 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images

Walters tried to conceive again when she was in her early thirties and went through the daunting experience for two years, trying every treatment there was at the time. After taking heed of the doctor's advice to check days after her period to determine when she would be fertile, she finally fell pregnant again.


Tragically, Walters lost the baby. Six months later, she suffered another miscarriage. Later on, the couple decided to adopt a baby. But things started getting somber at home as Guber wanted Walters to go to the theater with him, and she never felt up to it but went either way.

Sometimes she would leave the theater after intermission, but he understood and was gracious. Even though they were supportive of each other's careers, they were still trying to have a baby, and it became strenuous in their marriage.

Barabara Walters and entertainment executive Merv Adelson attending the American Museum of the Moving Image Honors Sidney Poitier at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on February 28, 1989 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images


Walters and Guber separated for eight years and divorced in 1976 after 12 years of marriage. Following their divorce, she wore a ring Katz had given her around her neck (in which she met Guber) to symbolize her unmarried status.

However, she later met her third husband, Mev Adelson, on a blind date. Adelson was the CEO of Lorimar Television, and they married in 1981 but divorced in 1984.

The duo tried to rekindle their relationship and wed for the second time in 1986. Still, Adelson and Walters' union ended in divorce again in 1992.


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