Whoopi Goldberg received a standing ovation from the audience and hugs from her castmates as she returned to her TV show The View.
Goldberg surprised everyone as she appeared on the ABC programme on Thursday, less than a week after she said in a video that she nearly died of pneumonia.
The audience chanted “Whoopi” and her castmates leapt out of their seats.
Goldberg said she plans to gradually return to the show as she recovers.
She said: “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 had been absent since February 6.
In a video last Friday, she said: “I came very, very close to leaving the Earth.”