Before She Was An Award-Winning Journalist, Barbara Walters Tried Being A Playboy Bunny [VIDEO]

Published September 28, 2017
Updated March 16, 2021

In the video, one can see Walters try on the now-iconic Playboy Bunny costume, about which she exclaimed, “I feel ridiculous!”

Barbara Walters may be best known today as the longtime face of ABC News, but for one day in 1962, she held another title: Playboy Bunny.

With the death of Playboy creator Hugh Hefner, many are taking a moment to recognize the immense impact that the magazine and company have had on American culture, and revisited some of the earlier days of the company.

Many of them will be shocked to realize that one player in the story of Playboy was journalist and anchor Barbara Walters.

When Walters was a reporter at the NBC’s The Today Show in the early 1960s, she was tasked with producing a story about the then-new Playboy Club in Chicago.

To better understand the experience of being a Playboy Bunny, servers at the Playboy Club, Walters decided to embed herself within their ranks, even becoming a Playboy Bunny for a day.

In The video, one can see Walters try on the now-iconic Playboy Bunny costume, of which she exclaimed, “I feel ridiculous!”

She also asks the woman fitting the outfits if the women working there are ever embarrassed by the costumes. The woman replies that maybe only one out of every 143 women are embarrassed to which Walters then says, “I think I’m two out of 143!”

Walters then explains the Bunny Manual to her audience, showing that the women working there must abide by strict rules, including never dating patrons of the club or drinking on the job.

She also trains with some of the other Bunnies, who teach her how to serve drinks.

Finally, she goes onto the floor of the club and serves drinks to the customers on the floor of the club.

This footage shows an early look into what would become the enormous Playboy empire and shows a young Barbara Walters first honing the investigative skills and cutting honesty that would eventually make her a household name across America.

After seeing this surprising footage of Barbara Walters as a Playboy bunny, learn more about her extraordinary career.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe Paoletti is a New York City-based writer and a former Editorial Intern at All That's Interesting. He holds a Bachelor's in English from Fordham University.