"This is the longest job I have held in my 35 year career and I am grateful to everyone at Bravo and all those involved in the series," Rinna told People in a statement. "It has been a fun eight-year run and I am excited for what is to come!"
Rinna first joined the cast in season 5 and went on to quickly become a fan favorite. Initially, executive producer Andy Cohen wasn’t on board with Rinna joining the franchise. In a 2019 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cohen said he "was wary of hiring a recognizable actress, feeling it would change the vibe of the show." Now, however, he "considers Rinna one of the best additions to the franchise."
"She’s fun to watch,” he said. “She’s funny and she makes fun of herself. She understands her place in the world, and she’s very secure with herself. I just think she’s entertaining.”
While the show has been drama-filled for years, season 12 was a more personal one for Rinna, who lost her mother, Lois, just days into production. Rinna’s daughter, Amelia Gray Hamlin, announced the death of Lois on Instagram, writing, "My guardian angel for the rest of time.. I love you so much my Lolo. You were and will always be much more than a grandma to me.. you were my best friend. My strength. My rock. My everything."
"Your laughter never failed to light up any room you ever walked in. Anyone who got the pleasure to meet you was so blessed.. there will never be anyone like you," she continued. "Thank you for being the strength our family needed. Thank you for teaching us what it means to be a strong woman… and just like that.. you’re back with Frank.. I know they’re having a party for you.. and you are dancing your way through heaven… you’ll never be gone."
In the season 12 trailer, Rinna admitted to being "in a lot of pain" following her beloved mother’s death.
Some of Rinna’s cast members, past and present reacted to the news of her exit, including Lisa Vanderpump who tweeted, "Ding dong," an ode to the famous line in Wizard of Oz, "Ding dog, the witch is dead."
For more from Rinna, check out the video below.
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