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Barbara Walters begins her long goodbye from the television spotlight

Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters Credit: Barbara Walters (Getty Images)

Broadcasting pioneer Barbara Walters may be stepping out of the spotlight but “I’m not walking into the sunset,” she assured “The View’s” audience Monday.

In a carefully planned and scripted adieu, Walters, 83, said she will bow out from television appearances starting next year while continuing as co-executive producer of the ABC morning show, which she helped create.

However, Walters assured viewers she is in perfectly good health.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by “The View” to pay homage to Walters, who began her TV career more than 50 years ago. She was the first woman to co-host the news on NBC’s “Today” show and the first to co-anchor an evening newscast.

He told Walters — who has interviewed the likes of Fidel Castro and Monica Lewinsky, that she’d make a fascinating interview subject herself.

Walters, who was married four times to three men, flirtatiously confessed that at one point she admitted she wanted to marry Bloomberg. “He’s cute as can be and he’s rich. Who wouldn’t want that?” she said.

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