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Betty White had a big crush on Robert Redford. And he says the feeling was mutual

A split image of a woman posing in a white sweater and a man posing in a black suit
Robert Redford, right, recently paid tribute to Betty White.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times, left; Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press)

The late Betty White famously had a massive crush on fellow screen icon Robert Redford, and now the “Natural” actor says he “had a crush on her, too!”

Redford recently paid heartfelt tribute to White, who died on New Year’s Eve, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday. Throughout her extraordinary life, the “Golden Girls” star professed her love for Redford while remaining devoted to her husband of 18 years, Allen Ludden, who died in 1981.

“Betty lived life devoted to her craft and her love of animals,” Redford said in a statement provided Monday to the Los Angeles Times. “She made us all laugh, including me. I had a crush on her too!”

Television was White’s medium, and her understanding of what it means to live on camera — her ease, her intimacy — was matched by few before or since.

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In one of her final interviews, White jokingly told People magazine that her “Proposal” co-star Ryan Reynolds couldn’t “get over his thing” for her, adding that Redford is “The One.” (Reynolds also honored White, praising her knack for “defying expectation.”)

Meanwhile, White’s longtime executive personal assistant, Kiersten Mikelas, told People that the Emmy winner received a cardboard cutout of Redford for her 99th birthday.

“For a long time, we had him in the office entryway,” Mikelas said. “When she came in, she’d say, ‘Hi, sweetheart.’”

‘We will go forward with our plans to show the film,’ the producers of the formerly titled ‘Betty White: 100 Years Young’ said in a statement.

Redford and Reynolds are just two of the many entertainment luminaries who fondly saluted White over the weekend. The cast of the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” collectively remembered White, who played Ann Douglas in the CBS series, as “a legend,” “an icon,” “a special lady” and “an amazing talented woman.”

“It was an honor to work with her,” tweeted Katherine Kelly Lang, who plays Brooke Logan on the daytime show. “What an amazing career ... She always had a smile on her face and spread [a lot] of positivity.”

“We can only learn from someone who has been on this planet for 99 years and we learned that laughter and her zest for life was truly the best medicine,” wrote Ron Moss, who played White’s grandson, Ridge Forrester.

The beloved TV icon, whose work included ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ ‘Golden Girls’ and ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ died Dec. 31 at 99. Here’s a look back.

In the wake of her death, various clips of White have gone viral on social media — including a late-night segment of her trading friendly insults with the late Joan Rivers, as well as footage of her playfully roasting her “Proposal” co-star Sandra Bullock at the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

During a recent interview with People, White’s longtime friend and agent Jeff Witjas said the prolific performer “lived a great life and ... a life that she chose.”

“Every time I told her, ‘Betty, you’re loved,’ she would look at me with a wry smile and say, ‘Really?’” he recalled. “I hope she knew. I think she did. It was something beyond love.”


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