Whoopi Goldberg cheered on her return to 'The View'

    FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018 file photo, Whoopi Goldberg attends the world premiere of "Nobody's Fool" in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

    NEW YORK (AP) — Whoopi Goldberg received a standing ovation from the audience and hugs from her castmates as she returned to "The View."

    Goldberg surprised everyone as she appeared on the ABC program Thursday, less than a week after she said in a video that she nearly died of pneumonia.

    The audience chanted "Whoopi!" and castmates Joy Behar, Abby Hunstman, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro leaped out of their seats.

    FILE - This Feb. 28, 2016, file photo, shows Whoopi Goldberg at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

    Goldberg says she plans to gradually return to the show as she recovers, saying "I'm not there yet, but the only way it's going to get better is if I begin, so this is my beginning."

    The 63-year-old had been absent since Feb. 6. In a video last Friday, she said "I came very, very close to leaving the Earth."

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