Barbara Walters returns to 'The View' after 6-week health absence

NEW YORK

The veteran ABC newswoman was welcomed back with a thunderous applause by beloved viewers and thrilled co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

The 83-year-old was initially hospitalized on Jan. 19 after fainting and hitting her head on a marble floor during an inauguration party in Washington. Walters was required to get stitches after she cut her head during the fall.

During her stay at the hospital, the female co-anchor contracted a fever and was shortly diagnosed with chickenpox. Walters was released from the hospital after 10 days, and then took it easy in her New York home.

But the journalist and television personality showed no signs of illness Monday, pointing out the only visible sign of her ordeal was a single chickenpox bump and a tiny scar from her fall on her forehead.

"After a lot of scratching and rest, I am fine and I am healthy," Walter said. "People say I should have my head examined. I did have my head examined, and I am fine," she joked.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought flowers to the set to welcome Walters back. Regis Philbin also stopped by to wish Walters well.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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