Not long before Jon Stewart announced he was leaving The Daily Show, Rosie O’Donnell, co-host of The View told the daytime talk show’s audience that the Thursday, Feb. 12, episode would be her last.
This is the second time she will depart The View earlier than most anticipated. O’Donnell hosted The View in 2006, leaving in 2007 after some controversy (a confrontation with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck) and seemingly not on the best of terms.
This time, O’Donnell is leaving the program for health reasons. The talk show host suffered a heart attack two years ago. The workday stress of daytime television wasn’t good for her continued recovery, she said.
“Stress is very bad for heart attack survivors,” she said in a video posted online. “You should minimize your stress, maximize your exercise and control your diet. That’s what you need to do for a healthy heart. So that’s what I’m doing.”
O’Donnell told The Daily News that she was moving back to Sarasota, Fla., where she owns a home.
She received high-fives and high compliments from her co-stars. The audience gave her a standing ovation.
“I just want to say thank you to all the cast here and the crew and mostly to Barbara Walters,” she told the audience. “And I want to thank her for making this show and letting me be on it twice. We’ve had fun, and I hope we’re gonna have more. I’ll come back and do an occasionally crafting segment ‘cause I have a hot glue gun and I will travel.”
Some “insider reports” suggest O’Donnell decided to depart the show because of clashes with co-host Whoopi Goldberg and the realization that Goldberg would always be the headliner on the program. Other say that while there was some drama behind the scenes, that was all part of the show and not why O’Donnell chose to leave the show.