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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview with Barbara Walters

Aired May 4, 2009 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Barbara Walters -- the interview moment she probably would have cut if Barack and Michelle Obama had asked. Her feelings about Patrick Swayze's brave battle with inoperable cancer. And she tells us what's fair when beauty queens take on hot button topics lie gay marriage.

Then, the face of Madeline McCann -- two years ago, when her mysterious disappearance from a Portuguese resort, shocked the world, this could be how she looks now, at age six.

Have you seen her?

Maddie's heartbroken parents hold out hope she's still alive.

Can you help bring their little girl home?

Plus, she went from this to this -- and then trimmed back down to a bikini bod for Oprah, but ballooned up again.

Why can't Kirstie Alley and millions of others take it off and keep it off?

And is our obsession with super skinny celebrities making some of us fat?

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

It's a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE my old friend, Barbara Walters, the creator, co-host and executive producer of Emmy-winning daytime talk show, "The View".

Her best-selling memoir, which I thoroughly enjoyed, "Audition," is now out in paperback. By the way, it includes a new afterward. There you see its cover.

A lot of things to talk about, Barbara.

The ladies of "The View" made "Time" magazine's Most Influential People list.

Were you surprised?

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE VIEW": Well, I said I was surprised. Joy said: "I don't know why you're surprised," you know. I do this because you know that's -- I'm doing my imitation of Joy.

It really, then, makes it, I guess, 105 Most Influential People.

I think it's because we were rather brazenly political this year. And Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, wrote the introduction to us or whatever the statement is about us in "Time Magazine" and said that we were more real than most reality shows, you know.

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: And it was like, you know, sitting down with a bunch of feisty women and your morning cup of coffee and -- which is what I always hoped that "The View" would be.

So I mean I'm -- I'm delighted. Hey, wow! influential, that's nice to hear.

KING: You bet.

Barbara, is it true that "The View" grew?

WALTERS: What do you mean by grew?

KING: In other words, it went from this daytime talk show among some lovely ladies discussing a lot of things...

WALTERS: You mean there's...

KING: ...into suddenly...

WALTERS: ...yes.

KING: ...a show that has impact on things beyond being a morning show?

WALTERS: Yes. I -- I think there are several reasons for it. First of all, it is a political year. And in the past -- in the beginning when "The View" was on, I don't -- I don't know whether, I have to think back 12 years. We were not that political. Meredith Vieira was the -- was the moderator. And Meredith, as you know, is not that political or feisty...

KING: Right.

WALTERS: ...although she was wonderful. I didn't moderate because I was so busy with ABC News that I didn't want to do five days a week.

And that now, with this particular lineup, with Whoopi, who has strong opinions; and Joy, of course, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who holds her own; and with Sherri, who has sort of given us -- I was going to say man in the street -- woman in the street; it's very fresh and opinionated and feisty and argumentative...

KING: And (INAUDIBLE)... WALTERS: ...and yet also quite loving, because we do like each other and you feel that. So I -- truthfully, and I know it's easy to say this, but I think this is our best year ever.

KING: I -- I would wholeheartedly agree. I look forward to being on with you in a couple of weeks.

WALTERS: Yes. You've got a...

KING: My book is coming out.

KING: Yes. My...

WALTERS: Yes. I will read the book.

KING: My autobiography -- you read it and...

WALTERS: And I know a -- yes, but I know a lot about you.

KING: OK, Barbara.

WALTERS: Aha.

KING: By the way, do you see...

WALTERS: Treat me nice. Treat me nicely tonight, Larry, or I will reveal a few things.

KING: Not -- don't say about that time. I didn't mean it.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Are you...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Are you surprised by how well ""Audition"" did?

WALTERS: Yes. There have been other books written by journalists. And they've done OK. And -- and it was mostly -- and then I interviewed and then I interviewed.

This is a very personal book. It may be too personal. I don't know. I wrote a great deal about my sister, who was borderline retarded. I wrote about the men -- heaven help me -- some of the men in my life. I wrote about my famous father, who made it all and lost it all.

And then I wrote about the interviews and the presidents and the dictators and so on.

But I didn't expect it to be the kind of best-seller it was. I'm not just doing this to plug the book, although that helps. It was a huge bestseller -- more than -- than I could have expected.

KING: And deservingly so. You write in the afterward of your -- WALTERS: Thank you.

KING: ...in the afterward of your memoir, that you did the interview with President-Elect Obama and his wife on November 29th -- 25th. And at one point, you asked Michelle about becoming America's first black first lady.

And watch what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm excited about the potential of what we can do in the White House and for the nation.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK.

Can I -- sorry -- sorry to be the producer.

Can I cut?

You've got a little lipstick on your tooth.

WALTERS: I'm going to leave this in.

M. OBAMA: Thanks, hon.

WALTERS: I think this is the most natural piece of television they've had.

M. OBAMA: (INAUDIBLE).

OBAMA: You've got it.

WALTERS: Is it OK?

OBAMA: There you go.

M. OBAMA: Thank you.

WALTERS: I'm not going to cut this out. I'm going to leave it. I just think it's so natural.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: (INAUDIBLE) why I...

WALTERS: All over the...

OBAMA: You know, people will think she's a chipped tooth or something.

M. OBAMA: I thought you were really listening to me.

OBAMA: I was. And you were...

M. OBAMA: I thought you were listening.

OBAMA: You were making a great point.

M. OBAMA: It was. It was an outstanding point.

OBAMA: It was a great point but, you know, I was thinking boy, that's...

M. OBAMA: Thank you.

Is it gone now?

OBAMA: It's gone now.

All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What do you make of them, Barbara?

WALTERS: OK. Well, I thought -- you heard him say -- you heard the president say -- this was on, I think, the night before Thanksgiving. And you heard the -- and we had done a -- a very political interview with him and then with the two of them.

I think it said so much about them.

You heard him say, can we cut this?

And what I thought was amazing that his press secretary did not come up to me afterwards and say, as I rather expected, you know, Barbara you really can't leave that in. It didn't look good for the first lady and so forth.

They realized how spontaneous it was and how charming it was and how husband and wife it was and they left it in. And I think it gave people a picture of them that they may not have had before -- this couple who really you know, were -- could tease each other. And he could correct her on camera.

I loved it. And that's why I said I'm going to leave it in. And I left it in and nobody said to me, take it out.

KING: Is there a danger here of over exposure?

WALTERS: Of -- of the president?

KING: Of them.

Yes and his wife.

WALTERS: Who -- you know, one never really knows. In a sense, you can say, no, there's not that danger, because even though he has so many problems and such a table full of crises on his hands. But his -- his rating stays up, in terms of how people feel about him as the president. And his point is, I guess, I have to explain to people there are so many different things that are going on. He's had more press conferences than anyone. So I mean the proof is in the pudding or proof is in the way the country feels about him.

So, evidently, he's doing the right thing.

Michelle Obama has not -- was seen more recently because of the grand tour when -- you know, when they went to Europe.

But I don't -- I think we are so surfeited with television anyway that one more appearance or one less appearance...

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: ...you know, between the blogs and the Internet and the cable and oh.

KING: And, by the way, you and I both Twitter.

WALTERS: You know, we don't Twitter. We Tweet.

KING: Oh, that's right.

WALTERS: We Tweet ourselves. It is Twitter, but we Tweet.

KING: Right.

WALTERS: How do you like how I speak the language?

I Tweeted that -- that I'm on this program tonight because we didn't talk about it on "The View" today.

KING: Yes, I saw that on my Twitter.

WALTERS: So I Twittered...

KING: I received that.

WALTERS: You saw that?

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: You received my Tweet on your Twitter?

KING: I'll tell you...

WALTERS: Can you believe it?

KING: I'll tell you a Twitter later.

(LAUGHTER)

WALTERS: I'll bet your kids...

(LAUGHTER) WALTERS: I'll bet your kids Twitter.

Do they?

KING: Yes. They're starting to.

WALTERS: Do your boys Twitter?

Yes?

KING: They're starting.

WALTERS: That's cute. Yes.

KING: We'll be right back with Barbara Walters -- ""Audition"" -- it's a terrific book. The memoir now out in paperback with a new afterward.

Patrick Swayze has inoperable cancer. Not only does Barbara write about it, she interviewed Patrick. And we find out if she's been in touch with him since.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE BARBARA WALTERS SPECIAL," COURTESY ABC NEWS)

WALTERS: And then here you are trying to fight this battle. And you and your family are picking up the papers, that are saying you're finished, you're dying, it's over, it's five weeks, it's one month.

PATRICK SWAYZE: I have the meanness and the passion to say the hell with you. Watch me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Barbara Walters.

Actor Patrick Swayze has inoperable pancreatic cancer, as we all know. And as you note in your book, he gave his first interview about his deadly disease to you last year.

Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE BARBARA WALTERS SPECIAL," COURTESY ABC NEWS)

WALTERS: Write your own tabloid headline.

SWAYZE: Swayze's kicking it. He's going to keep kicking it. I've gotten to do a lot of living in my life. I've said for many years that -- that I'm on borrowed time, since I was 30 years old. I've had 159 lives. But I plan on shaking this tree.

When you think about what your options are, you know, and there's -- there is that saying, you get busy living or you get busy dying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Have you heard from him, Barbara?

WALTERS: We have been very loosely in touch. This was a very hard interview to do because -- obviously. And I was very touched that he chose me. I hadn't seen him in 20 years.

But the difficult part was to say to his wife, Lisa, who was sitting next to him, have you thought about what it might be like when he's gone?

I mean you have to weigh -- you know yourself, Larry, when you do an interview, you have to weigh and measure, do you ask that kind of question?

He was going to do interviews with other people after that...

KING: Right. I was scheduled next.

WALTERS: And he had to cancel them.

KING: He got -- he canceled me the next day.

WALTERS: Yes, he had to. Had to cancel them. He was going to make personal appearances because he has a new television show on. But he went into a different kind of chemotherapy. His old -- his former chemotherapy, which was terribly difficult for him -- excruciating for him, although people didn't know it and the people he was working with didn't know it -- that had sort of run its course. And this is a new chemotherapy.

He is still, thank heaven, with us. But I -- it's been very, very, very tough for him. And to my knowledge, he did not do other interviews.

You know, his -- his bravery, it's not -- it's not just that he is courageous. He did that television show. He's works out with his horses. He's -- he keeps on living in the most positive way. And it is a wonderful relationship between the two of them. I felt very fortunate in being able do this interview.

KING: You know, in your memoir, the first thing that blew up everyone, of course, the revelation of the relationship with Senator Brooke, the former Senator of Massachusetts.

You write that Oprah was responsible for that leak.

How?

WALTERS: Well, I had taped the interview with Oprah. She was going to be my first appearance. And it was taped to come out the day the book came out, which was, I don't know, May -- maybe May 5th. I can't remember the exact date.

And in publicizing her -- the interview, promoting her interview, she put in the part about my relationship with Ed Brooke.

Now, the reason that it made such headlines was because -- this was more than 30 years ago -- was because he was black. And at that time, if it had come out, it would have ruined my career. And I put it in, particularly -- I wrote about other men, too -- Alan Greenspan, Senator John Warner, whom I had been close to.

But this is the one that -- that rattled everybody. And I was doing it because I wanted to say look at the difference now, we have a black president.

Without when it came out, I was suddenly this woman who had had this secret affair. And, by the way, he was also married. He was asking for a divorce and so on.

And I was -- I -- the first time I went to make an appearance at a bookstore, the headlines said the sensational sexy book you've been reading about. And I thought sensational ah.

But you know what, it catapulted the book. I mean it's one chapter out of so much. But perhaps it helped to make it the bestseller it was.

So thank you, Oprah.

KING: But you knew that would happen, didn't you?

WALTERS: Not to that degree. I mean it was it was -- it was -- how -- you know, one third of a chapter. I thought, this is interesting.

But did I think that it was going to become the headline?

Now, once people read the book, once I began to do interviews, they realized there was so much more in it. But, you know, this was not a kiss and tell book about here I had a relationship with you know...

KING: No.

WALTERS: And I had written to the senator beforehand...

KING: Right.

WALTERS: ...and told him that it was going to be in so.

KING: So no -- no regrets over including it?

WALTERS: No. No, no, no. Sometimes I regret that the whole book was so personal, because I think that, you know, I'd had -- because I had been in news and in a position of what -- authority, you know, I was considered, you know, a little -- a little private or very private, maybe cold, until people start to -- to see me on "The View."

How can you be cold with all those women? But it is so personal. And yet I didn't know how to write -- write it any way other way, whether I was writing about my daughter and my problems with her or my sister.

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: It was a very, very -- as you know, a very personal book. And my love affairs, such as they were...

KING: Well, they weren't dull, either.

WALTERS: ...was -- was a small part of it.

KING: But it's an engrossing read.

We'll be right back with Barbara Walters.

""Audition"" now in paperback.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

WALTERS: Today, I want to be put on Twitter.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

WALTERS: I'm so nervous. I don't know why.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Barbara Walters.

"Audition" is in paperback.

As we said, you're Twittering now. We both started last month. You're Barbara J. Walters on Twitter. I am kingsthings.

Please follow us both.

Before I get to a Twitter question, what's the J. for?

WALTERS: Well, because there are a lot of Barbara Walters. The J is for Jill. My name is Barbara Jill Walters.

KING: Oh.

WALTERS: And when I wanted to just use Barbara Walters, there are a lot of Barbara Walters and I'm sure there are a lot of Larry Kings...

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: ...which is why your Twitter is a different...

KING: Kingsthings.

WALTERS: It's not just Larry King.

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: Yes.

KING: First a comment...

WALTERS: Common names.

KING: A comment for us both. Words in my head writes: "You are the king and she is the queen. Now, two "View" related questions for Barbara.

Why do you let them browbeat Elisabeth?

And did you expect "The View" to get as big as it did?

WALTERS: I don't think that we're browbeating Elisabeth because it's something that -- that -- that she can take and that she enjoys. And she's very good. She does her homework. She represents her conservative point of view. I think it has given her distinction. I think that it has made her very valuable to the program. And if she, you know, were just this sort of lovely, younger, you know, member, she wouldn't have the -- she wouldn't quite have the -- maybe, the appeal. And it's what gives the program its -- its vitality, especially between Joy and Elisabeth.

I try to be more middle of the road, because I still work for ABC News. But I think I'm getting less so.

So, no, she's happy with it.

Did I think it was going to become this kind of a success?

Did I think it was going to last 12 years?

No. I mean, I'm not sure after the first year -- I dreamed the first year. I was calling all these television stations around the country that weren't carrying us, begging, well, carry us, watch us, you know?

KING: I remember.

WALTERS: Yes.

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: I mean, that's what you had to do. So -- and I think -- now, I think it will -- it's a franchise and it will go on for years and it will go on after I'm no longer doing it.

But I'm also co-executive producer with Bill Getty. So my -- my hand or what, you know, my finger is in it.

KING: Yes.

WALTERS: My fist, I don't know.

KING: It's there.

Rush Limbaugh...

WALTERS: It's there.

KING: Rush Limbaugh was one of the people you -- on your highly rated Most Fascinating People of 2008. And then you write in your memoir that it was fun arguing with him, especially when he told you he was a lovable little fuzz ball.

WALTERS: Yes.

KING: Little is a real exaggeration there.

You also asked him about election 2010.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM BARBARA WALTERS PRESENTS

THE 10 MOST FASCINATING PEOPLE OF 2008," COURTESY BARWALL PRODUCTIONS)

WALTERS: Four years from now, the best Republican candidates.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOST: I love Sarah Palin. I think Sarah Palin is the exact opposite of her mainstream media caricature. The thing that happened with Sarah Palin, I think, is illustrative of another battle that's shaping up, and that's a battle between elites -- the smart people -- and those they do not think are smart.

And I think the reason Sarah Palin was disgusting to even Republicans was that she's from Alaska, that she didn't go to the right school.

WALTERS: No.

LIMBAUGH: See, geographically incorrect...

WALTERS: No. It's that she didn't seem informed, Rush.

LIMBAUGH: The fact that she was...

WALTERS: She didn't seem informed.

LIMBAUGH: ...didn't seem informed in one interview. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The last time I saw him, he was a little slimmer.

WALTERS: Well, you know, this went on and I said but, you know, you're elite. He lives in this enormous house in Palm Beach.

KING: Yes, I know.

WALTERS: He did not come from a poor, struggling family. And he says, well, I didn't go to the right colleges and so forth.

I love interviewing Rush Limbaugh because you really can argue with him. He describes himself as warm and fuzzy. OK. You know, he's -- I like -- I like arguing with him. I like doing it with Bill O'Reilly. I had dinner Friday night with Bill, who's very quiet off camera. And so is Rush Limbaugh, off camera.

You and I, when we're together, Larry, we talk and we're arguing and we're hugging and so forth.

KING: You bet.

WALTERS: These men are rather different off-camera -- somewhat reclu -- not reclusive, because Bill O'Reilly is married and has kids, a nice wife. But they're -- they're a little different.

KING: Yes.

The Miss California gay marriage controversy -- what does Barbara Walters think?

Stay with us.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Barbara Walters. "Audition" is now out in paperback -- one year after it was published in hard cover. And as we've said, putting a personal endorsement here -- a terrific read.

What did you make of that controversy with the Miss California pageant and the girl and the guy from the Internet and the question?

WALTERS: Well, interesting enough, we have Donald Trump on "The View" for the first time since our little, shall we say, misunderstanding...

KING: Tete-a-tete.

WALTERS: ...our little fracas two years ago.

I just think it's a shame when -- when one is, because of one's political views, that it spills over and makes you eligible or ineligible. I mean do we care about the political views of the people who are on "Dancing with the Stars?"

Supposedly not.

Do we care about the political views when you're on "American Idol?"

So why should we care about the political views or how one feels about gay marriage, or whether you're for -- whether you're a Republican or a Democrat?

I think -- I felt that this -- this woman should have been, if, indeed, she was going to be the winner -- and we don't know that -- she should have been the winner. And the whole -- the whole blow up was unfortunate.

On the other hand, if she were not necessarily number one, this has given her a distinguished appearance and a reputation that might help catapult her into something else.

KING: Wasn't it a...

WALTERS: You know, sometimes a little scandal is a very good thing.

KING: Barbara, in a sense, wasn't it a fair question?

She comes from a state where the California Supreme Court is hearing Proposition 8.

WALTERS: That's right. It was a fair question and she gave an honest answer and began, which they didn't -- most people didn't pick up -- by saying, look, everybody has a right to their own opinion and I -- I don't expect that, you know, my opinion is going to be the only say.

I was surprised that it caused the kind of -- the kind of concern that it did. Perez Hilton, who's a gossip columnist and he likes to be provocative, asked the question and sort of made the face after it.

And we don't know whether she should would have been the winner. But, look, here it is -- it's, what, two weeks later we're still talking about.

KING: Yes.

You've also interviewed the (INAUDIBLE)...

WALTERS: I will ask -- I will ask the Donald tomorrow, OK?

KING: Yes, ask him. It was his pageant.

WALTERS: That's right.

KING: You've also interviewed teen sensation Miley Cyrus about the pitfalls of early stardom.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE BARBARA WALTERS SPECIAL," COURTESY BARWALL PRODUCTIONS)

WALTERS: Miley, you're living here in California. You're 15 years old. You pick up the papers and every day, practically, you read about another young star -- some of whom were Disney stars.

How can you be certain that what happened to Britney and Lindsay and Jamie Lynn Spears won't happen to you?

What will be the difference?

MILEY CYRUS: For me, as I know, that some people don't have a family to fall back on like I have. And that's when something greater than even that comes in. And that's faith. And that's what I have. For me is that's what keeps me strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Do you like interviewing people that early on in their career?

WALTERS: Well, she is somewhat more interesting. Well, I interviewed the Jonas Brothers last year for an Academy Award special and I groaned.

I thought, what am I going to ask them?

And I found them really very bright and interesting kids. And one of them has diabetes and there was a good deal to ask him about it.

Miley Cyrus has a very strong family. Her mother is her manager. Her father, you know, Billy Cyrus is -- has been with her career since the time she, you know, was a little girl.

She's in the sort of tipping toeing period now where she's on the verge of womanhood. And she has to -- she wants to go beyond being the child star and yet not be too sexy and not be too provocative. And it's a very difficult -- very difficult time for her.

How are you a little more glamorous, a little more sexy at the same time that you're the wholesome girl next door?

KING: The -- oh, by the way, I meant to ask you, what is...

WALTERS: What?

KING: ...the biggest misconception about you?

WALTERS: That's a question that I ask all the time of people, isn't it?

Yes.

KING: Yes. I stole it from you.

WALTERS: Hah-hah. Well, I had said that people thought that I was very cold. And not to quote Rush Limbaugh, but that I'm really very warm and fuzzy. And when I said that, Bill Getty, my executive producer went: "You, warm and fuzzy?"

(LAUGHTER)

WALTERS: But I really am. You know that I really am.

KING: Oh, you are. Yes. So that's the biggest misconception, basically, that you're warm and fuzzy?

WALTERS: Well, I guess -- I guess -- well, I guess, over the years, the misconception was, perhaps, early in my -- early in my career, when I had to fight for interviews, that I was a pushy cookie -- too aggressive. The compliments were not good. They weren't -- I mean the compliments were not complimentary -- the things that were said about me.

I was a failure when I was the first co-anchor of a network news program. And then people, I think, thought that I was very cold and very authoritative.

"The View" helped to change that. My daughter said: "Well, mommy, at least they know that, you know, can be funny occasionally."

So I think that helped. But for a long time, I think I was considered very cold.

KING: All of the cast of "The View" are going to be on every night this week, kicking off with Barbara. Then Joy Behar will be here tomorrow. And we're going to play word association with Barbara about them, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: OK. We're back with Barbara Walters. The book is "Audition" now in paperback.

All right, here is the word association. I'll say a name. They're all going to be on our show. Whoopi Goldberg.

WALTERS: OK. Deep, serious. Whoopi will say that "The View" has resurrected her career. I am so glad she is on with us. She is a very thoughtful and very deep waters.

KING: And still funny.

WALTERS: And funny. Well, that we know. I'm trying not to just say the obvious.

KING: All right. Joy Behar, who will be hear tomorrow.

WALTERS: Obviously funny. Opinionated. Brave. Joy has been on with us on "The View" from day one, thank goodness.

KING: A lot of people think she's Jewish.

WALTERS: I know they do and her boyfriend is Jewish and she says she only likes Jewish men. She is Italian. Elizabeth Hasselbeck is Italian and very few people realize that, not that it really matters. But yeah, people do.

KING: And she's next. Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

WALTERS: Courageous, smart, very dear. Good wife, good mother. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and give your opinions when everybody is saying the opposite.

KING: And Sherri Shepherd.

WALTERS: What a wonderful addition. She is the -- if not the man on the street, she is the woman on the street. Funny, lovable, cuddly and intelligent. I say it that way because people in the beginning didn't think she was. She is.

Most of it is the chemistry. The chemistry of these --

KING: Works.

WALTERS: They either make it or they don't make it. It did and who can explain why?

KING: The ladies of "The View" talk about weight, dieting, super skinny celebrities on a fairly regular basis. Why? Do you think that's a big public attraction? Do you think a lot of people are overweight?

WALTERS: I think a lot of people -- it's all we do on most of these programs are talking about gaining weight and losing weight. The whole business with Kirstie Alley apologizing to Oprah because she gained weight and she thought she let people down and she was on one of these diet plans where they were paying her to lose weight.

When you're being paid to lose weight, there are all kinds of things that go with it. It's monitored. They give you the food you like the best. They make sure that you exercise and so on. And when you are no longer being paid and you're off of it, you usually slip back and you get heavy.

Nobody teaches these women how to eat and it was Star Jones years ago who used to talk to us about portion control. And we would pooh- pooh that. And so much of it is -- it is self restraint and you do have to learn how to eat and I'm not sure that these -- I won't go further than that.

KING: OK.

WALTERS: Yeah. I mean, I think it's sad that she has to apologize for gaining weight.

KING: How long are you going to keep on keeping on?

WALTERS: How long are you going to keep on keeping on?

KING: Retire to what is what I say. I don't know what I would do.

WALTERS: Yeah. See, people ask me that and I don't have the same feeling about it, because I have worked forever and there are so many things that I'm interested in that I cant imagine -- I really -- I mean, I know myself when I'm going to leave --

KING: You do?

WALTERS: I'll be happy to -- yeah, I do.

KING: Want to tell me?

WALTERS: But I also think -- no, I don't feel like it right now but I will. I am on next year, I am doing my specials next year, I'm on "The View" next year, OK. But I do think, and it's true, that a man can get older on television or older on films and it's just fine. I mean, Andy Rooney is 90 and he is still on television. You'll be on television when you're 90.

If I am on television when I'm 90, they'll be saying, that old crow, why doesn't she get off?

KING: Why is that?

WALTERS: And I want to leave -- because it's just different with women, whether we like it or not. I've been on longer than probably many women in this business and I am very grateful for it and I still think I look OK. But also there is a time when I want to do other things than have the regimen of being on. There are things that I'm interested in. There's travel that I would like to do without having to do in one day.

There are courses that I'd like to take. There is so much -- I mean, I'm very well-informed in what we call current events but there's so much culturally I don't know.

KING: Picture you're on a cruise ship somewhere and you're having a great time --

WALTERS: No, I don't want to do --

KING: Whatever, a big story breaks.

WALTERS: I'm on vacation, yeah.

KING: A big story breaks. Don't you want to be there? You're retired now. You must want to be there.

WALTERS: I can't do it the rest of my life and there will be other things I hope I make up. I cannot just say I'm going to be on and on because it's a big story.

I hope that there's -- I mean, I started the "Today Show", what I've been here 33 years, 13 years in "The Today Show" non-stop. And maybe there is time for another chapter. I hope so because I don't want my entire life to just be my work. I have other things I'd like to do. I have friends I want to be with. It'd be nice to try something else.

We're not talking about next year. I'm not talking about beyond that. But I'm not going to be carried out feet first.

KING: Hang tough, Barbara. It's great seeing you. I'll see you in a couple weeks.

WALTERS: I hope so. Thank you, Larry.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Madeline McCann, you'll remember, is the little English girl who went missing in Portugal two years ago and she is back in the news, because today an age progression photo was released of what Madeline could look like today if she is still alive. There you see her on the right. Madeline's sixth birthday is in a few days.

Joining us from London is Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for Kate and Jerry McCann, the parents of Madeline. Do they, Clarence, hold out much hope for this picture working?

CLARENCE MITCHELL, SPOKESMAN FOR MCCANN FAMILY: Larry, good to be with you. Yes, they do, very much. This picture has been done by experts in forensic imaging at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. And they believe and Kate and Jerry believe it is the best guess, if you like, of what Madeline looks like now. And Kate and Jerry really want people to focus on the new image and look out for that little girl, rather than the younger image, which has become famous over the past years. They're very hopeful.

KING: The parents were guests on "Oprah" today and Kate McCann recalled the terrible moment she realized her daughter was missing. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE MCCANN, MOTHER OF KIDNAPPED CHILD: And I just looked, and it was quite dark. And I was just looking and looking at Madeline's bed. And I was thinking, is that her? I was looking for -- why isn't Madeline there?

So I went through to our bedroom and she wasn't there. And then I kind of -- see that, I'm starting to panic a bit. And I ran back into their room, and literally as I went back into the room, the curtains that were drawn over just flew open. And that's when I saw that the shutter was right open. The window was pushed right open. And that was when I just knew that someone had taken her. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Clarence, for a long time, the press blamed the parents. When did that go away?

MITCHELL: Well, it took a long time to go away. We had to correct some fundamental misconceptions, misunderstandings, and frankly, down right lies that appeared in the press in Portugal. When Kate and Jerry were made suspects in the inquiry by the Portuguese police, that, too, took several months to deal with, to get the message of their innocence out there. And that was ultimately accepted by the authorities in Portugal. There is no evidence to suggest that they're involved. They weren't involved. That's why.

The aguido (ph) status as it was called, was lifted last year. And since then, Kate and Jerry have been going through the police files with private detectives, former British detectives here in Britain, looking for new evidence, new material. And along with the "Oprah" interview, the new picture, we have also done a new reconstruction in Portugal, which will be shown on British television in coming days.

KING: The Portuguese police have closed the case, right?

MITCHELL: They have. They shelved it. They say that they won't reopen it unless significant new evidence comes to light. And so far the only people now looking for Madeline, I'm afraid to say, are Kate and Jerry themselves, with their own private investigation.

KING: Well, we're seen worldwide. We hope that the picture helps. By the way, before we leave you, here's another clip of the parents on the "Oprah" show, sending a plea to the abductor. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY MCCANN, FATHER OF KIDNAPPED DAUGHTER: Not too late to do the right thing. You know? They can give her up. They can tell us where she is. They can hand her over to a priest or someone in authority. They can do the right thing.

K. MCCANN: Madeline should be with us. Madeline with the family. She has a little brother and sister who want her back in their life. And, please, you know, if you don't want to think about Jerry and I, think about Sean and Adlai (ph) Bring their big sister back. You know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What a tragedy. We thank Clarence Mitchell for joining us from London.

Thank you. Celebrities, bodies and image. We'll be back to tell you who has fallen off the weight wagon in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're going to talk about you and your weight. Two terrific people to do it. Kathy Ireland is CEO and chief designer for Kathy Ireland Worldwide and author of the new book, "Real Solutions for Busy Moms; Your Guide to Success and Sanity." She is a former super model and actress. There you see the cover of the book. Bob Green is Oprah's personal trainer, the best selling author of "The Best Life Diet," spokesperson for the move campaign. He'll host a Best Life special on Discovery Health on May 28th.

After being on "Oprah" a few years ago, revealing her bikini body, Kirstie Alley returned last week to tell us about losing her battle with weight. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, "OPRAH": Can you believe that? This is what I said, you know, when I came out about falling off the wagon. I can't believe I'm still talking about it. Can you?

KIRSTIE ALLEY, ACTRESS: No. It is sort of -- it's -- you know, it is humiliating. You sort of -- you have people who you inspire and that -- I think the biggest thing for me, the biggest, most painful thing for me is I have all these people I inspired and then I let them down.

WINFREY: What happened? Did they stop sending you the food?

ALLEY: To make a long story short, I didn't weigh for a year and a half. I didn't work out for a year and a half. I didn't -- you know, I'm nuts, I think, seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Are we overly involved with this topic, Kathy?

KATHY IRELAND, CEO KATHY IRELAND WORLDWIDE: Well, I think we are for the wrong reasons. And I think there is such an obsession with appearance. With my weight gain, people wanted the know, well, when is she going to squeeze back into a bikini? No. That is not what it's about. But what people weren't asking me, what's the triglyceride level? What' the C reactive protein?

Larry, with your foundation and what you are doing to make heart health at the forefront of everyone's mind, and Bob with your information about healthy living, it is so important. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America.

KING: We're not just talking aesthetics?

BOB GREENE, OPRAH'S PERSONAL TRAINER: No, we're not. We run into problems any time we think weight is the problem. Weight is a symptom of something that needs to change in your life.

KING: Back with more on celebrities and weight right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (NEWS BREAK)

KING: Bob Greene and Kathy Ireland are with us. Kathy, you gained international fame swimsuit model, and then you gained weight, right? And then you had a realization, oddly enough, from "People Magazine." Let's show this from "People Magazine" and find out how you dealt with it. All right. There you are.

IRELAND: And you know, the weight gain was gradual, about a pound a year for the past 25 years. I intentionally built a business that has absolutely nothing to do with my appearance. So I would think what does it matter? My food choices. Well, what matters is what am I doing to my health? And I encourage people -- you know, please don't put it off. Every mom I know has a to-do list. Put yourself on that to-do list. Call your doctor tomorrow. Get an appointment. Find out what is the health of your heart.

KING: Is fluctuating weight like Kirstie Alley bad, bob?

GREENE: Well, there's two sides to that story. First off, if you remain heavy, that's when the most damage is done to your heart and the excessive health ramifications from keeping overweight. So as long as you're watching, even if it's yo-yo dieting, that's healthier than the person that remains heavy. However, the best thing is to live the lifestyle of moving more and eating less and pursuing what it is that got you there in the first place.

KING: By the way, Bob's posted an exclusive commentary for our blog. Check it out at CNN.com/LarryKing. Let's take another look at another clip of Kirstie Alley talking with Oprah about her weight struggles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEY: And then when I gained weight the last time, you know, really gained weight, and lost it, I honest to god thought, this is it. This will be the last time I ever do this again.

WINFREY: Yes. And now you know differently. But you knew because you had all that exercise equipment in your house, remember? We went to your house, and there was all the exercise equipment in the living room.

ALLEY: And I moved it out and made it a dining room.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's Kirstie with kind of -- sort of making fun of this. Don't you think?

IRELAND: She -- well, she's -- I appreciate her honesty and her openness.

KING: Me, too.

IRELAND: And Oprah, she has let us know that there's no shame in a weight gain. With the picture that our son took of me, I was tempted to push the delete button. But, you know, beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes, ages and colors. But we've got to get the message out about health. We try to -- especially, I think, women try to make them look a certain way, fit into a certain size. What kind of message is that sending to our children?

KING: Back with more of Bob Greene and Kathy Ireland. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Don't forget, Kathy Ireland's book "Real Solutions for busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity." Bob Greene, of course, the internationally known personal trainer. And you can check out his exclusive commentary on our own blog. We've talked about weight with a lot of stars on this program. Here is a sample.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOLLY PARTON, COUNTRY SINGER: Now, I've been fat, and I've been skinny. And I am not about to say something about anybody else's weight, because I know how hard it is when you gain five or six pounds, and certainly 10 or 12.

I don't know how overweight she is. I have not seen her. But I know that Jessica is a good girl. She's beautiful to me. And I'm sure that she's going to get some weight off because people won't leave her alone. She'll have to get skinny just to get people to shut the hell up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was told I was chunky when I was 13, so I've believed that my whole life.

KING: But when we saw you on "One Day At a Time," you were never overweight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I look at it now and I think that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had full laproscopic gastric bypass surgery. It is only reserved for the morbidly obese. I say those words very harshly of myself. I wasn't full figured. I wasn't chubby. I wasn't plus size. I was killing myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We have less than a minute. Kathy, are we getting better? Do you see people, are we getting better?

IRELAND: I hope we're getting better. I pray we're getting better. We've got to teach our children. We've got to get the message out there for women, don't beat yourself up. But please be healthy. Don't put off your health. It's too important.

KING: Do you notice more interest?

GREENE: I see more interest in the foods we eat, but I see less interest in moving more, which is at least one-third of the problem, and even less interest in resolving the things in our life that drive us to the refrigerator.

KING: This is not purely American, is it? Or is it?

GREENE: No, it's starting to shift over into Australia, New Zealand, overseas. So it's not uniquely American.

KING: Thank you both. We promise you a lot more time next time. Good luck with the book, Kathy. Bob Greene and Kathy Ireland. We end tonight's program on a sad night. "American Idol" winner David Cook lost his brother Adam on Saturday to a decade-long battle with brain cancer. The season seven winner announced the news yesterday in Washington, where he was the grand marshal for the Race for Hope. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID COOK, "AMERICAN IDOL" WINNER: On a serious note, I -- like everybody here, I'm affected by this disease. I actually lost my brother yesterday to a brain tumor. I couldn't imagine -- I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: David was a guest on this program just days after he won "American Idol" last spring. And he opened up about his brother's ordeal and how it influenced him. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOK: Yes, he's fighting, you know. I tried to really keep it out of the public when I was on the show just because, you know, win or lose, I wanted to make sure -- and he wanted the same thing -- for me to have success or failure based on my own merit. You know, so it's exciting now to kind of be out in the open and be able to kind of hopefully help shed some light on this. It's obviously a terrible thing.

KING: Ten years is significant.

COOK: Yes, yes. He's been -- he's -- you know, he's my -- he's my American idol.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Well said, David. Our thoughts and prayers with you and your family tonight. Now upstairs and Anderson Cooper with "AC 360." Anderson?