Whoopi Goldberg has been forced to end her run in the London production of Sister Act early after her mother had a stroke.
The actress, 54, flew back to the U.S. today after learning of her elderly mother Emma Johnson's
Goldberg had been playing the Mother Superior
since August 10 at the London Palladium and scheduled to complete her run next Tuesday.
Cut short: Whoopi Goldberg, pictured on her first night as Mother Superior, has left the London production of Sister Act
The show's producers said: 'Ms Goldberg is very sorry not to be able to perform as planned and the thoughts and sincere best wishes of the producers and the entire Sister Act company are with her at this difficult time.'
An understudy will now step in for Ms Goldberg until new Mother Superior Sally Dexter
takes over next week.
Producers advised ticketholders who do not wish to see the production without Goldberg to contact their point of purchase.
After playing singer Deloris Van Cartier
in the original 1992 film and its sequel, Goldberg decided she was too old to reprise the role for the West End and instead took on the role of Mother Superior.
The Oscar winner sent Sister Act box office sales through the roof when she revealed she would be taking the role for just three weeks earlier this summer.
Ms Goldberg ended up with the role accidentally during a meeting with her fellow producers of the stage production to find a replacement for outgoing Mother Superior Sheila Hancock.
To give producers more time to find a new Mother Superior, Goldberg jokingly suggested she take on the role for a few weeks and they agreed.
Hancock had starred in the production since it opened last June, but had to leave for contractual reasons, leaving producers in need of a suitably matriarchal replacement.