The veteran journalist, who put together the initial panel of women on The View in 1997 and served as a co-host until her retirement in 2014, turned 92 on Saturday.
During Monday's episode of the iconic talk show, season 25 co-hosts Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and guest panelist Ana Navarro marked Walters' milestone birthday. The View's current moderator, Whoopi Goldberg, was out for Monday's show.
"Saturday was the birthday of the one and only Barbara Walters," Behar, 78, said. "Our mentor, our queen. We want to wish you the very best, Barbara. I hope you're watching. You can see that your idea continues to thrive."
We’re sending birthday love to the woman who started it all, Barbara Walters! Happy birthday! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/1vNPkYy8jD
— The View (@TheView) September 25, 2021
Earlier this month, View alum Meredith Vieira opened up to PEOPLE about landing the job as the show's first moderator, sharing that it was a "tremendous" privilege to be chosen by Walters.
"To have the opportunity to work with her was somewhat of a dream come true. I think that she hesitated with me in terms of hiring me because she didn't know I was funny. But Barbara took a chance on me. It wasn't a job that I was looking for and particularly interested in until I auditioned," she said. "And then I realized, 'I don't know why I'd really enjoy this, but I do.'"
"Once you work with Barbara, she's a very complicated person," Vieira added of her former boss. "On one hand, she's very kind and generous, and on the other, a real taskmaster and tough as nails, which is why she succeeded in this business at a time when there were so few women. She had not only brains, but real tenacity."
Ida Mae Astute/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Barbara Walters on The View
Prior to The View's season premiere on Sept. 7, the current co-hosts shared a toast to Walters while reflecting on the show's 25th anniversary in a promotional video.
"I can't believe it's 25 years," Behar said in PEOPLE's exclusive first look at the clip in August. "I'm still trying to finish a sentence I started in 1997!"
The foursome then raised a champagne toast to 25 years — and to original host Walters.
"For you Barbara!" they said in unison.