“Take some time to enjoy The View.” That is the signature sign-off line on the popular morning talk program that has broadcast for 14 seasons. Two Baby Boomers, two Generation Xers and one Pre-Baby Boomer make up the diverse group of five engaging women who regularly co-host the ABC morning talk program The View.
Before I continue, let me interject that I am not hooked on television, and therefore am definitely not a soap opera or game show junkie, but I confess that I do enjoy looking, listening, and learning from the talking heads on The View, a program that is informative, entertaining, and is always laced with a healthy dose of humor.
Some might argue that women in general are competitive, catty, drama queens who dislike other women, but I believe that many devotees of The View – men as well as women – would ask, “What’s not to like?” If I were a paid TV critic, I might not be writing this blog, but since I am not, I am free to give my two cents on the women of The View, as well as a little background on each of them. A devoted fan, I give the show two thumbs up and five stars. (Click continue reading to see more.)
Barbara Walters – She is soft-spoken and sophisticated. The most level-headed in the group, she is often the calm amidst the storm when the show’s other co-hosts engage in heated – and sometimes overheated – discussions. Walters was born in 1929, to Jewish parents, Lou Walters and his wife, Dena Seletsky. She attended private schools in New York City and graduated from Miami Beach High School in 1947. In 1951 she received a B.A. in English from Sarah Lawrence College. Among her numerous awards and professional tributes, Walters earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Walters along with her business partner Bill Geddie is co-creator and executive producer of The View. She has been married three times having wed first husband Robert Henry Katz in June 1955. That marriage was reportedly annulled in 1958. In 1963, she married Lee Guber. Their adopted daughter, Jacqueline Dena Guber, was born in 1968, and adopted by the couple that same year. Walters and Guber divorced in 1976. In 1986, Walters married Merv Adelson. They divorced in 1992.
Whoopie Goldberg – Goldberg put the C in candid. She has said on The View that she doesn’t care what people say about her; and if appearance is a standard for judgment, then what you see is not really what you get, because in spite of her shoddy appearance Goldberg is obviously intelligent, articulate and funny, although some of her clowning around on the show seem more silly than comical. She was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in 1955, in New York, to Robert James Johnson and Emma Johnson. Following the breakup of her first marriage, Goldberg moved to California to develop her stand-up comedy skills. In Hollywood she built an impressive resume, and came to prominence in her acting role as Celie in The Color Purple. She later won an Oscar for her performance in Ghost. Goldberg, a high school drop out in the 1960s, and former drug addict married three times. In 1973, at 18 she wed her drug counselor and first husband Alvin Martin. She divorced Martin the father of her only child, a biracial daughter, Alexandrea, in 1974. Goldberg wed second husband, David Claessen in September 1986. They divorced in October 1988. Her marriage to Lyle Trachtenberg, husband number three lasted one year, from 1994 – 1995. Goldberg is one of only 10 individuals to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.
Joy Behar — To describe Behar in a single word, I would say spunky. That’s what I like about her. She strikes me as being a tough-skinned comic who can dish it out and take it. Nevertheless, she occasionally comes across as a loose cannon, whose shocking comments on The View have often drawn criticism. Behar, an Italian-American is often mistaken to be Jewish. She was born Josephina Victoria Occhiuto in 1942 in Brooklyn, NY. Her mother, Rose, was a seamstress, and her father, Gino Occhiuto, was a truck driver. Behar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a Master of Arts degree in English, a subject that she taught in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1965 Joy married Joe Behar and they have one daughter, Eve. The couple divorced in 1981. Behar and her current partner, Steve Janowitz, whom she refers to as her “spousal equivalent,” have been together since the 1980s. She is a comedian and author, who was raised Catholic but considers herself agnostic. In addition to co-hosting The View she hosts The Joy Behar Show on cable channel HLN. One of the original co-hosts, she joined The View in 1997. Behar’s sharp tongue and choice words, which some consider to be sexist and insulting, have been known to draw criticism.
Sherri Shepherd – I like Shepherd’s perky personality and humor. I especially like the beautiful wigs that she wears, and she makes no bones about the fact that she wears them. Occasional her off-the-wall antics make it obvious that she is one of the younger co-hosts, and I sometimes wonder if the lascivious lady needs to shower twice daily to cool down her hormones. She really looked cute on the December 24th show, wearing her Ms. Santa Clause outfit. Shepherd was born to Lawrence and Laverene Shepherd in 1967. She missed being born a Baby Boom by four years. The well-coifed Chicagoan pursued an acting and stand-up comedy career while working as a legal secretary on her day job. Now a popular comedienne, actress, and television personality, she hosts the Newlywed Game and has starred in the sitcom Less Than Perfect and on Lifetime, in Sherri, a comedy about her own life. In addition to numerous guest appearances, she appeared as guest host on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, a program regularly hosted by Meredith Vieira. Shepherd also had a role was in the movie Precious. The recipient of numerous nominations and awards, in 2009 she won her first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Shepherd who admits to being a former Jehovah’s Witness has been called to task by some of her co-hosts for making some outlandish statements that, well, let’s just say that some of her remarks cause baffled viewers of the show to wonder whether she did her homework on the subject being discussed. Shepherd married comedian Jeff Tarpley in 2001. Their son, Jeffrey, about whom she speaks proudly on numerous episodes of The View was born in April 2005. She and Jeff divorced in 2009 after she discovered he was having an affair, an event that inspired her sitcom Sherri.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck – Hasselbeck, like her co-host Sherri is a Generation Xer, born May 28, 1977. She stands out as the most conservative woman on The View. She was a contestant on Survivor: The Australi, on Outback (2001), and has co-hosted on The View since 2003. Born, Elisabeth DelPadre Filarsk in Cranston, Rhode, Hasselbeck is the daughter of Roman Catholic-school teacher and lawyer Elizabeth DelPadre and architect Kenneth Filarski. Hasselbeck attended St. Mary’s School in Cranston, and in 1995, she graduated from St. Mary Academy – Bay View in Riverside, Rhode Island. She attended Boston College, with a focus on paintings and industrial design, and graduated with a Fine Arts degree in 1999. In 2002, Hasselbeck married her college boyfriend, former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck. In 2003, she was one of a number of women who guest-hosted on The View to replace outgoing co-host Lisa Ling, who left the program at the end of 2002. Hasselbeck and her husband have three children, a daughter born in 2005, and two sons; one born in 2007, the other in 2009. Barbie Doll looking Hasselbeck, the youngest co-host has celiac disease, a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.