Whoopi Goldberg’s surprise appearance on The View last month marked the light at the end of a dark tunnel for the stars of the ABC talk show. As the Ghost actress continues to recover from double pneumonia, cohost Sunny Hostin exclusively opened up to Us Weekly about nearly losing the “rock” of The View.
“It’s been so wonderful to have [Goldberg] back,” Hostin, 50, told Us at Best Friends Animal Society’s Benefit to Save Them All in New York City earlier this week. “It’s been very scary. What most people didn’t know is that we were visiting her in the hospital, so I had the chance to see her very, very sick, and it was scary because she is our rock and our moderator.”
Goldberg, 63, surprised Hostin and the other cohosts — Joy Behar, Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro and Abby Huntsman — with a cameo on the March 14 episode, telling her colleagues that it was her “first foray out” and that she was still on the mend.
“To see her come back and surprise us … it felt like home,” Hostin told Us. “I felt like everything was back to normal, so it’s been wonderful.”
The lawyer, who became a permanent cohost on The View in 2016, also said she couldn’t imagine the show without Goldberg. “We are a family, and it was tough,” she added. “I think Joy has done a wonderful job of keeping our family together because she’s been with the show since the very beginning, and she really stepped in and stepped up and kept us together … but we are happy that Whoopi is back. But she’s not back full-time yet. She’s back a couple of days a week. She has to take her time because she was very, very, very sick.”
After a month-long absence from The View, Goldberg opened up about her life-threatening illness in a pre-taped message that aired on the show’s March 8 episode. “I’m not dead,” she assured viewers. “So here’s what happened: I had pneumonia, and I was septic. Pneumonia in both lungs, which means there was fluid, there was all kinds of stuff going on. And yes, I came very, very close to leaving the Earth. Good news, I didn’t.”
She then gave a shout-out to her cohosts and to the show’s fans: “Thank you for all of your good wishes. And all of the wonderful things that you have been saying. … And ladies, I cannot wait to see y’all. This has been interesting and I’ll tell you about it when we’re all at the table. See you soon.”
The Oscar winner divulged more during her surprise appearance on The View the following week. “Double pneumonia will also kill you,” she said at the time. “They had to pump a lot of stuff out of me. So, you know, this is a cautionary tale for all of us. You must really take care of yourself because there’s little tiny stuff out there that will kill you that you never think of.”
With reporting by Nicki Gostin