Whoopi Goldberg’s appearances on The View don’t seem to be getting any easier.
The actress had to be consoled by her co-hosts on the US daytime talk show after she became overwhelmed by emotion during a tribute segment to her late friend Mike Nichols, who died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday aged 83.
Goldberg credits the filmmaker behind The Graduate for discovering her and catalysing her career.
“Mike Nichols is the one who first saw Whoopi performing and said, ‘You got something, kid’,” Rosie O’Donnell told the audience as Goldberg broke down in tears.
“She was a downtown street artist and he said ‘Let’s do a show’. They put it together and he gave her the entire beginning of her career and recognised her brilliance before anyone else.”
The pair collaborated on Whoopi’s eponymous Broadway show in 1985. Her performance ultimately led to her being cast in The Colour Purple.
The challenging scene was one of many for Goldberg on The View over the past few days.
The actress and comedienne found herself the subject of some criticism after she said that a woman who was slapped by a man during a New York subway brawl should have expected it.
“If you slap anybody - but particularly women - if you slap, put your hands on somebody, you cannot be guaranteed that he’s not going to slap the crap out of you,” she told her co-hosts during an appearance.
She received a similar reaction to comments she made that appeared to be in support of Bill Cosby on the show, too.
Goldberg implied she had “reserved… judgement” over the history allegations of rape, put forward by 16 different women against the comedian.
Cosby has strongly denied the allegations - specifically that made by supermodel Janice Dickinson earlier this week.
“Perhaps the police might have believed it,” she said. “Or the hospital. Don't you do a kit when you say someone has raped you?“Isn’t that the next step once you make an allegation? Don’t the cops take you into a hospital for a kit?”
She added that she had “a lot of questions” over the claims.