The newswoman reflects on 30 years of Oscar specials

By Tim Stack
Updated February 26, 2010 at 05:00 AM EST

After 29 years of Oscar-night specials, Barbara Walters announced that this year’s telecast, featuring nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique (March 7 at 7 p.m. on ABC), will be her last. So how will she spend that pivotal evening? Says Walters, ”[My producer] Bill Geddie and our staff will get together, order Chinese food, and watch the special as if we haven’t seen it.” Having interviewed everyone from Tom Cruise to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Walters looks back on some of her most memorable celebrity chats.

Eddie Murphy, 1983
Murphy had just moved into a new house at the time of the interview. ”He had no furniture!” remembers Walters. ”We did the interview on the floor.”

Cher, 1988
The music icon, who won Best Actress for Moonstruck that year, is one of Walters’ favorite subjects: ”Cher is one of those people who always has something new to say. You could interview Cher every year.”

Audrey Hepburn, 1989
”It was one of her last interviews. We went down to Mexico. She was working for UNICEF. There’s no one like Audrey Hepburn. She told me how I could look like her — what I could do with my eyes, what I could do with my hair. It didn’t work.”

Demi Moore, 1996
”She had just done [Striptease]. I was fully dressed, I must say, but she was going to teach me the [stripper] moves. Nobody moves like Demi Moore — I should have just taken a walk around the house.”

Hugh Jackman, 2009
Walters asked Jackman, that year’s Oscar host, to show her his moves. ”One of the reasons I said that I’m going to stop doing these specials is: After you’ve done a lap dance with Hugh Jackman, where else is there to go?”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1991
”They cried all over my dress. I cry when I think about [interviewing] them.”