Rosie O’Donnell was noticeably absent on The View‘s touching tribute to its former host, Barbara Walters, on Jan. 3, and now we know why. The 60-year-old comedian, who was also a co-host on the talk show at one point, apparently couldn’t be there to honor the legendary journalist, who died at the age of 93 on Dec. 30, due to scheduling conflicts. “She was flying back and unable to attend,” Rosie’s rep told Page Six. “She has posted wonderful memories of her relationship with Barbara.”
Those memories were included in Rosie’s tribute post to Barbara, which she shared to her Instagram very shortly after her friend and former colleague’s death went public. “Very sad to hear about Barbara Walters’ passing, although 93, man…who wouldn’t take that?” Rosie said at the beginning of the video. She went on to talk about the “long, eventful, and legendary life she had” and said she “was lucky enough to be in her orbit for a good many years.” She ended the video by saying she hopes she “rests in peace” and insisted that she would not be forgotten.
Although Rosie wasn’t a part of The View‘s tribute, the episode included current and former hosts who shared their loving memories of Barbara. Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin talked about the lasting impact she made and how it was to work alongside her. Sherry Shepherd, Lisa Ling, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Meredith Vieria also spoke about the incredible star either in person at the studio or on live video or phone.
After the tribute aired, some fans took to social media to talk about Rosie’s absence and some expressed disappointment that she wasn’t included. Some also speculated that the reason she didn’t participate in the show, which she co-hosted from 2006-2007 and again from 2014-2015, was because of some drama she had with Barbara in the past. Her rep was quick to deny this rumor. “They did NOT have a rocky relationship. It was repaired many years ago,” the rep added to Page Six.
Like the co-hosts of The View, many friends and celebrities shared their own tributes to Barbara through posts or statements after her death. Fellow journalists/television show hosts, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, and Deborah Roberts expressed love as well as others like singer Paul McCartney, Monica Lewinsky, and Meghan McCain, making her legacy stronger than ever.