Frank Langella Gave Barbara Walters Chickenpox in New Year Kiss

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 10:53 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Barbara Walters returned to "The View" Tuesday to the cheers of her adoring fans, where she revealed the source of her chickenpox was actor Frank Langella.

"Today after a lot of scratching and rest, I am fine and I am healthy," Walters said, lifting her bangs to show off scars from the pox and a fall she took.

Walters, who was absent from the show for six weeks because of the infection, told the audience that while visiting a friend in Florida, she met Langella, who gave her a New Year's hug and kiss.

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Unbeknownst to Langella, Walters said, he was "about to develop a bad case of the shingles."

Shingles, a painful, blistering skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is contagious and can give someone chickenpox if they have never had it.

At the time of the embrace, Walters, 83, never had chickenpox.

Chickenpox, which is much more serious for adults than it is for children, can be deadly in some cases.

At President Barack Obama's inauguration, Walters said, she began to feel the onset of the illness while covering the event.

During a visit with Sir Peter Westmacott, Britain's ambassador to the U.S., before the inauguration, Walters said she fainted while walking down a set of marble stairs, hitting her head in the process.

The talk show host was subsequently taken to Georgetown University Hospital where doctors treated the gash on her forehead and told her that she had contracted chickenpox.

At first, she didn't want to call out Langella for giving her the illness, but she later admitted it to co-host Joy Behar.

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In 2009, the New York Post reported that Walters was intimately involved with Langella.

Walters, who has denied the relationship, laughed off the claim with co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who also dated the actor years ago.

Walters is presently single after being married four times to three men.

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