• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Barbara Walters Says 'Well-Known Actor' Gave Her Chicken Pox

Barbara Walters Time 100 - H 2011
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The 83-year-old returned to "The View" on Monday after recovering from the virus and a concussion incurred after a subsequent fainting incident.

Barbara Walters was back on the air at The View on Monday after a six-week medical leave to recover from a bout of chicken pox and concussion she incurred after growing weak from the virus, fainting and hitting her head on a marble floor.

The 83-year-old broadcast news icon was greeted to a standing ovation, whereupon she shared "more than you ever wanted to know" about what happened.

"It all began in January when I was visiting a friend in Miami," Walters explained. "She had as another guest a well-known actor who shall remain nameless. I gave him a New Year's hug and kiss on the cheek. What he didn't know yet was that he was about to develop a bad case of shingles."

But it was a side effect of the illness that posed the most serious threat. While covering President Barack Obama's inauguration in Washington, Walters fainted at the British ambassador's residence, and the resulting fall left her "bloody and unconscious."

"The chicken pox came and went weeks ago -- the head injury has taken longer," Walters said of the frightening condition, the same incurred by Hillary Clinton after a similar fainting spell.

"Chelsea Clinton emailed and said she was going to buy her mother and me matching helmets," Walters said.

Walters later was moved to tears when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on the show to present her with a bouquet of flowers.