Barbara Walters said she will have surgery later this week to replace a faulty heart valve and take the summer off from "The View" to recuperate.
The television legend made the announcement on the air Monday. She said she's known about her condition for a while, and decided with her doctors that this is the best time to have the surgery.
"Since the summer is coming up," she said, "I can take a nice vacation."
Walters, 80, is one of the best-known personalities in television news. She began on the "Today" show, was the first woman to anchor a network evening news program, then was one of the toughest competitors in the fierce game of landing sought-after interviews.
At a time others would be slowing down, she created "The View" in 1997, and the daily talk show with a woman's round-table is a staple on daytime TV.
She said her condition would be a surprise to many friends. "But I thought it best not to talk about it too far in advance."
Walters said she had not felt any symptoms from the narrowing of the heart valve, which can worsen and restrict the flow of blood to the heart.
Whoopi Goldberg, her co-host on ABC's "The View," asked Walters if she is scared.
"Look, nobody wants to have this kind of surgery," Walters said, but added that it has become more commonplace and done safely.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.
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