After a heated discussion with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the May 23 broadcast of the morning chat show, O'Donnell has decided not to return. Her contract was originally scheduled to end June 20.
Brian Frons, the president of ABC's Daytime Television Group, said in a May 25 statement, "We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave. Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well."
Barbara Walters, who is the co-creator of "The View" and one of its co-hosts, added, "I brought Rosie to the show. Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at 'The View.' I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change."
In her own statement, O'Donnell said, "I'm extremely grateful. It's been an amazing year and I love all three women."
It was a difficult year for O'Donnell, who became embroiled in a celebrity feud with Donald Trump. She and co-host Hasselbeck also frequently argued over their diametrically opposed political views. Broadway fans, however, were thrilled that O'Donnell's arrival on "The View" meant more television coverage for Broadway shows. In fact, the March 21 broadcast of "The View," which celebrated O'Donnell's birthday, featured performances from the casts of The Color Purple, Les Misérables and A Chorus Line. Rosie O'Donnell was most recently on Broadway in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The actress made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, and she played a limited engagement as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical. The performer also spent some time on the other side of the footlights as producer of the Broadway version of Boy George's Taboo. O'Donnell rose to fame as a stand-up comic before landing roles in such films as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "The Flintsones" and "Exit to Eden." Her Emmy-winning talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," ran from 1996 to 2001, and her more recent TV credits include appearances on "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk" as well as the made-for-television movie "Riding the Bus with My Sister." O'Donnell is married to Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell; the couple have four children. O'Donnell's autobiography is titled "Find Me."