The veteran American television reporter Barbara Walters has been hospitalized after falling and hitting her head, her employer ABC News said Sunday.

"Barbara Walters fell on a stair (Saturday) evening while visiting the British Ambassador's residence and the fall left her with a cut on her forehead," ABC News Senior Vice President Jeffrey Schneider said.

"Out of an abundance of caution, she went to the hospital to have her cut tended to, have a full examination and remains there for observation," he said in a statement.

"Barbara is alert -- and telling everyone what to do -- which we all take as a very positive sign."

The 83-year-old reporter was the first American woman to co-host network news back in 1970s, breaking into a field long dominated by men.

She has interviewed scores of heads of state and other celebrities over the course of her decades-long career, which has been defined by high-profile interviews with major newsmakers.

She covered US president Richard Nixon's landmark 1972 visit to China and in 1977 arranged the first-ever joint interview with Israeli leader Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during the Camp David peace process.

She held the first interview with Monica Lewinsky in 1999, the first sit-down with Al Gore after his narrow defeat in the 2000 election, and landed a rare hour-long primetime interview with Cuba's Fidel Castro.

These days she is a co-host of the popular daytime talk show "The View," but occasionally returns to her journalistic roots with high-profile interviews.

In December 2011 she landed a rare interview with embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in which he famously denied having ordered the killing of thousands of protesters.