A parade of View veterans — including current and onetime OG table mates Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos — paid their respects to the series’ late creator, Barbara Walters, during Tuesday’s special episode. Conspicuously missing from the hour-long tribute: former co-cost Rosie O’Donnell.
According to O’Donnell’s spokesperson, the actress-comedian was invited to take part in Tuesday’s retrospective. However, “She is on a plane and couldn’t change her schedule,” the rep explained. A View spokesperson confirms that an invitation was indeed extended to O’Donnell.
O’Donnell honored her former boss, who died Friday at the age of 93, on Instagram over the weekend.
“What a long and eventful legendary life she had,” O’Donnell marveled. “Spoke to every prominent world leader in memory, interviewed everyone who’s anyone, and I was lucky enough to be in her orbit for a good many years.”
Despite the pair’s well-documented rocky relationship, O’Donnell focused on the good times she shared with Walters. “We saw a lot of Broadway shows together,” she recalled, “and whenever we go backstage, I’d, like, try to help her, you know, over the steps backstage and she would always smack my hand and tell me to leave her alone. She [knew] what she was doing I could tell you that.
“May she rest in peace and may everyone remember just what barriers she broke down for women,” O’Donnell concluded. “She… was the first, and will always be remembered.”