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Whoopi Goldberg cheered on her return to 'The View'

Whoopi Goldberg attends the October 2018 world premiere

Whoopi Goldberg attends the October 2018 world premiere of "Nobody's Fool" in New York City. Photo Credit: Invision/AP / Charles Sykes

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 Huntsman, Meghan McCain, Sunny Houstin and Ana Navarro leapt out of their seats.

Goldberg explained she planned to gradually return to the show as she recovered, 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 co-host 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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