The many sides of Meredith

Viewers have come to know Meredith Vieira as a savvy newswoman with a zany streak. Here’s a look back at her colorful career, including nearly five years as co-anchor of TODAY.

Meredith Vieira, a TODAY co-anchor from 2006 to 2011, rejoined TODAY for a morning after the broadcast teased that a "legend will return." After she hung out for a bit with Linny on the plaza, she revealed she'd play a part in TODAY's 2012 London Olympics coverage.

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Meredith was named a special correspondent on "Rock Center with Brian Williams." She debuted with a story about Mimi Alford, a woman who said she had an affair with President John F. Kennedy while serving as a White House intern in 1962.

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Meredith stopped by Kathie Lee and Hoda's hour of TODAY Feb. 2 to chat about what she's been up to since leaving the broadcast. After the fourth-hour gals congratulated her on her success, Meredith joked they must be "drunk."

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Meredith stands with Deborah Norville, far left, Katie Couric, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales during TODAY's special 60th anniversary show Jan. 13.

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After nearly five years as co-anchor of TODAY alongside Matt Lauer, Meredith took leave of the show on June 8, 2011. Ann Curry took her place as co-anchor of America's No. 1 morning show.

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In an emotional farewell on Rockefeller Plaza June 8, 2011, Meredith received heartfelt tributes and good wishes from Al Roker, Matt and Ann.

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On June 8, 2011, her last day as a TODAY anchor, Meredith received a rousing musical tribute from the show's entire family, as well as late-night host Jimmy Fallon (with guitar), on Rockefeller Plaza.

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Meredith has been the host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" since 2002, and that same year she hosted the "Super Soap Special Edition" of the show (pictured). Here, she talks with the contestant and Eva LaRue and John Callahan from "All My Children."

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Meredith served as a co-editor of CBS’s “60 Minutes” from 1989 to 1991. Here, past and present correspondents of the program join Don Hewitt, the executive producer, lower left, on stage for a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards held in New York on Sept. 3, 2003. From left to right, at rear, Christiane Amanpour, Diane Sawyer, Steve Kroft, Meredith Vieira, and executive editor Philip Scheffler. Middle row, Bob Simon, Lesley Stahl, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer and Andy Rooney.

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Meredith has been honored with eight Emmy awards, including a Daytime Emmy for best morning newscast for her work on TODAY. She earned five Emmys during her 10-year tenure at CBS News, and picked up two Daytime Emmys as outstanding game show host for her work on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

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Meredith joined ABC’s “The View” as one of its original moderators in 1997. She left the show in June 2006 and joined TODAY in September of that year. Here she bids goodbye during her farewell show, as her co-host Barbara Walters looks on.

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Meredith and her husband, Richard Cohen, who has battled multiple sclerosis and colon cancer, steal a kiss at a New York news conference in 2006.

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Bronx resident Linny Boyette is one of TODAY’s biggest fans, appearing on Rockefeller Plaza every morning during the show’s broadcast. Here Meredith poses outside the NBC studio with Linny on her first day at TODAY, Sept. 13, 2006.

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For TODAY’s annual Halloween extravaganza, Meredith has transformed into Princess Leia, Pinocchio, Lily from “The Munsters,” and most recently, Lady Gaga. In 2006, she arrived to the set on a clamshell, dressed as a mermaid.

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During her TODAY tenure, Meredith conducted numerous newsmaker interviews, from chimp attack victim Charla Nash to singing sensation Susan Boyle. On Dec. 18, 2006, her interview with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton aired. During the interview, Clinton offered the broadest indication yet that she was close to a decision on whether to enter the 2008 Democratic presidential field.

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Actor Will Ferrell took Meredith for a spin on the Rockefeller Center ice rink during his show appearance on March 27, 2007, just before the opening of his comedy film “Blades of Glory.” He attempted to show Meredith a stunt, but instead the good sport fell on her back and hit her head, exclaiming, "Ow, that hurt!"

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On April 19, 2007, Meredith and Matt reported on a video manifesto and photos sent to NBC from Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho, shown on a studio monitor at left. NBC said the package contained a rambling and often incoherent 23-page written statement, 28 video clips and 43 photos. Gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded many others before committing suicide during the Virginia Tech attacks on April 16, 2007.

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Author J.K. Rowling reads to fans in Edinburgh, Scotland, from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" during Meredith’s July 2007 interview. This was Rowling’s only television interview about her final Harry Potter volume.


On Feb. 21, 2008, TODAY broadcast live from Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort. The always-intrepid Meredith took the Penguin Plunge into the freezing waters of Lake Champlain to benefit Special Olympics Vermont. (She probably did not opt for the double-dip.)

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Meredith will be the first to admit that she’s useless in the kitchen, but in November 2009, she bravely battled consummate hostess Martha Stewart in a heated holiday apple-pie bake-off. Even though Meredith shamelessly admitted to using a pre-made crust, we give her points for panache.

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Viewers saw Meredith’s compassion as a journalist in her coverage of events like the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and the death of pop icon Michael Jackson. In July 2009, Meredith and TODAY team broadcast live from the Michael Jackson Memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Always game to try something new, Meredith shares a laugh with the Paralympic curling team during the 100 Days to Vancouver celebration on Nov. 4, 2009, at Rockefeller Center. Meredith, Matt, Al, Ann and Natalie all traveled to Vancouver in February 2010 to broadcast live from the XXI Olympic Winter Games.

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Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and Meredith go way back: During the Vancouver Games, the skater and “Dancing With the Stars” champ gave Meredith some skating tips, and showed her how to dance the tango. Eight months after the Games, Ohno sat down with Meredith to chat about his new book, “Zero Regrets,” and his journey to becoming a record-breaking athlete.

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Jasper, Meredith’s dog and jogging partner, has appeared on the show several times alongside the anchor. Always the loyal companion, here Jasper participates in a segment about canine learning abilities and vocabulary recognition.

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On Aug. 20, 2010, Meredith and actress and cancer survivor Maura Tierney threw the first pitch at Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox game against the Toronto Blue Jays in support of the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research. Meredith’s husband, Richard Cohen, has survived two bouts with colon cancer.

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For Halloween 2010, Meredith channeled her diva spirit and took the stage as Lady Gaga, working it to “Bad Romance” – with blond locks, bold outfit and back-up dancers to boot.

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There’s no denying that Meredith has a way with the fellas, including cheeky actor Russell Brand. Anchor and actor have had a couple of innocent, flirtatious exchanges during Brand’s visits to the TODAY set.

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One of Meredith’s most recent newsmaker interviews was her sit-down with Donald Trump. In the wide-ranging interview that aired April 7, 2011, Trump spoke pointedly about Obama's presidency, foreign affairs, and the possibility of running for president. "Right now, I have some real doubts" about Obama’s citizenship, he told Meredith.

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In her nearly five years at TODAY, Meredith covered several major news stories, from the 2008 presidential election to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Along with Ann, Matt and Natalie, Meredith reported live from London for the widely-watched nuptials.

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