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Nicollette Sheridan's Desperate Exit Earns Kudos

04/19/2009 at 06:55 AM EDT

Nicollette Sheridan's Desperate Exit Earns Kudos
Nicollette Sheridan
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage
With Sunday night bringing the final episode of Desperate Housewives to star original cast member Nicollette Sheridan – who is leaving the show for good – her neighbors on Wisteria Lane gathered to pay brief tribute to her during a panel discussion about Housewives at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles.

According to James Denton (the actor whose plumber Mike on the ABC show was the object of Sheridan's character Edie's insatiable lust), at the table-read of the first script that would not feature Sheridan, she took a moment to address the writers and actors. "She said, 'While you're all together, I'm here to say thank you for everything. You guys are great. You guys are awesome,' " Denton said.

"She walked out of the room, and Felicity [Huffman] looked at me and said, 'Classy,' and it sure was."

Of her last days on the set, Denton, 46, said, "Her attitude made them completely bearable. It could have been tough and sad, but she was so great," the Associated Press reports.

"She will be missed," Sheridan's costar, Teri Hatcher, told PEOPLE earlier this month. "I feel really grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her."

At the Paley Center gathering Saturday, a misty-eyed Hatcher, 44, was quoted as saying: "I made a scrapbook as my sort of parting gift, and it reminded me of how great those two characters [Hatcher's Susan and Sheridan's Edie] were together."

Speaking to TV Guide recently about her reasons for leaving, Sheridan, 45, said, "When the show started [in October 2004] it was such a different beast. It was exciting and dangerous and funny and edgy and bizarre. It started feeling a little complacent, and that was very frustrating."

But countered show creator Marc Cherry, 47: "Edie's already slept with most of the guys on the street and has caused about as many problems as she could."

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