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11/15/2013 10:13 am ET Updated Nov 15, 2013

Former 'View' Cohost Debbie Matenopoulos On Her 22-Year-Old Self: 'You Poor Thing' (VIDEO)

Since "The View" first premiered in 1997, co-hosts have come and gone, but viewers still remember the original five: Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Debbie Matenopoulos.

Matenopoulos, often criticized and parodied for her 22-year-old point of view, was fired after two years. "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" caught up with Matenopoulos in Greece as she worked on her cookbook of traditional family recipes, It's All Greek to Me, and reflected on her co-hosting days.

"It has been 16 years since I was on 'The View,' -- 15 or 16 but who's counting," she says in the above video. "That was the most amazing experience of my life to date and still the most amazing job. At that time I probably didn't realize what a big deal it was because I was so young."

"Did I say and do some crazy things? Yeah, I look back at that girl and I say, 'You poor thing.' I mean that poor, poor thing," she laughs. "It was difficult to read stuff about myself that's for sure, in the press, and to hear things about myself and -- oh my gosh, the press could be brutal. Brutal."

Matenopoulos says it was her tight-knit family that helped her get through the criticism. "I think probably the only reason I continued in this business after kind of being kicked around so much, so young, was because of my father's encouragement and his strength," she says.

In 2012 Matenopoulos lost her father to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. "ALS strips you of your movements, of your speech, of everything except your brain. So you are completely intact mentally, but at the end, basically you cannot move and it is awful."

In honor of her father and to raise awareness to help find a cure for ALS, Matenopoulos says she is dedicating some of the proceeds of the book to the ALS Association.

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

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