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ABC News

15 of Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating People You May Have Forgotten

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ABC News

A lot of people make news over the span of one year, but only ten of them are deemed worthy to appear on Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People. For one night almost every December since 1993, Walters profiles and interviews ten individuals who have made an impact over the past 12 months. As the years go by and our brains need room for new names and faces, some of these fascinating people have slipped from all our minds. Here are a select few.

1. JAMES FREED

Along with the likes of Maya Angelou and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Freed was featured in the inaugural edition of the special (when, for the only time, 12 people were featured on the special instead of 10). An award-winning architect who formed the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners with I.M. Pei, Freed designed many buildings, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which opened on April 22, 1993.

2. STAN WINSTON

Winston was known for his special effects magic. After winning Oscars for his work on James Cameron and Tim Burton movies, he was fascinating enough for Walters in 1993 thanks to his visual effects work on Jurassic Park, the highest grossing film of all-time until Titanic four years later.

3. LESLIE ABRAMSON

Abramson is a defense attorney who gained nationwide notoriety for exuberantly defending Erik Menendez, the younger of the two Mendendez Brothers who would ultimately both be found guilty of murdering their parents. She appeared in the 1994 edition of the special.

4. OKSANA BAIUL

The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan story is what most Americans remember about the 1994 Winter Olympics, but a 16-year-old Ukrainian named Oksana Baiul came away with the figure skating gold medal for ladies singles. Baiul overcame meager living conditions, a deceased mother and grandparents, her father's abandonment, and an injury suffered during her final practice to win it all.

5. DR. RICK NELSON

A Muskogee, Oklahoma thoracic surgeon, Nelson was the unlikely hero in the rescue of Brandy Ligons, a 15-year-old trapped under concrete rubble after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

6. OSEOLA MCCARTY

87-year-old Oseola McCarty managed to save $250,000 throughout her life working as a washerwoman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, but it's what she did with it that caught Walters' attention. McCarty pledged most of her savings to provide scholarships for financially strapped students at the University of Southern Mississippi.

7. SHANNON LUCID

Lucid spent 188 days in space in 1996, breaking the record for most hours in space by a non-Russian and by a woman. She was the only American woman to ever board the Russian space station Mir, which is where she spent 179 of those days. Lucid was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame earlier this year.

8. SIR IAN WILMUT

The embryologist was the head of the research group responsible for Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep, in 1997. Wilmut received an OBE in 1999 for his efforts and was knighted in 2007.

9. JOHNATHAN LEE IVERSON

In 1999, Iverson became the first African-American ringmaster in the 92-year history of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He was 22 at the time, also making him the youngest master of circus ceremonies ever.

10. SARAH HUGHES

Hughes was another unlikely figure skating champion, winning the 2002 gold for ladies singles in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hughes became the only American woman to win a gold medal without winning a World or U.S. senior national title first.

11. CHIEF MOOSE

Charles Moose was chief of the Montgomery County police department in Maryland and the main law enforcement officer in charge of apprehending the Beltway Snipers. The two men who carried out the attacks were caught after almost three tense weeks in October 2002.

12. SHERRON WATKINS

Watkins appeared in 2002 as the former Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron. Earlier that year, she testified to Congress about Enron's accounting irregularities, and was acknowledged as an important whistle-blower.

13. TED ALLEN, KYAN DOUGLAS, THOM FILICIA, CARSON KRESSLEY, AND JAI RODRIGUEZ

These five men were the hosts of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a reality show where they would perform makeovers for style-averse Average Joes. It premiered in 2003 and quickly became the most watched show in Bravo Network history.

14. TOM ANDERSON AND CHRIS DEWOLFE

Three years after Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page made Barbara Walters' fascination cut, Anderson and DeWolfe, creators of MySpace, appeared on the 2007 installment. "MySpace Tom" and DeWolfe had sold their website to News Corp. two years earlier and left the company two years after the broadcast.

15. THOMAS BEATIE

Beatie became famous for giving birth to three children through artificial insemination, years after undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Before being featured on Fascinating People, Beatie talked to Walters in an ABC News special devoted exclusively to him, titled Journey of a Pregnant Man.

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Shout! Factory
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entertainment
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon Is Back
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Shout! Factory

For many fans, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is as beloved a Thanksgiving tradition as mashed potatoes and gravy (except funnier). It seems appropriate, given that the show celebrates the turkeys of the movie world. And that it made its debut on Thanksgiving Day in 1988 (on KTMA, a local station in Minneapolis). In 1991, to celebrate its third anniversary, Comedy Central hosted a Thanksgiving Day marathon of the series—and in the more than 25 years since, that tradition has continued.

Beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, Shout! Factory will host yet another Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day marathon, hosted by series creator Joel Hodgson and stars Jonah Ray and Felicia Day. Taking place online at ShoutFactoryTV.com, or via the Shout! Factory TV app on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and select smart TVs, the trio will share six classic MST3K episodes that have never been screened as part of a Shout! Factory Turkey Day Marathon. Here’s hoping your favorite episode makes it (cough, Hobgoblins, cough.)

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CableTV.com
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Pop Culture
America's Favorite Reality Shows, By State
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CableTV.com

From aspiring crooners to housewives looking to settle scores, there are plenty of reality shows out there for every interest. But which ones are currently the most popular? To answer this question, CableTV.com mined Google Trends data to measure the most-watched “real-life” programs in each state. They broke their findings down in the map below.

The results: Residents of sunny California and Arizona are still Keeping Up With the Kardashians, while Texans love Little Women: Dallas. Louisianans can’t get enough of Duck Dynasty and in Utah, viewers are tuning in to Sister Wives.

See which other shows made the cut below, and afterwards, check out CableTV.com’s deep data dive from 2016 to see how our viewing preferences have changed over a year.

A map breaking down each state's favorite reality show, created by the CableTV.com team.
CableTV.com

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