REVEALED! How cantankerous TV legend REALLY got virus! 

WITH friends like that, WHO needs enemies?! The ENQUIRER has learned that Barbara Walters’ longtime pal Frank Lan­gella is the man responsible for the newswoman’s recent run of bad luck!

According to sources, the 75-year-old actor unwittingly gave Barbara, 83, chicken pox by visiting her during his outbreak of the shingles, which is caused by the same virus. But that’s not all!

During a call to “The View” on Feb. 6, Barbara re­vealed that she’d had a fever – caused by undiagnosed chicken pox – when she fainted and fell down the stairs at a pre-inaugural bash in mid-January. The ter­rible tumble left her with six stitches in her head and a concussion.

So we now know THAT was Frank’s fault, too!

According to experts, shingles – varicella-zoster virus – is very contagious and can cause chicken pox in people who have not previously had the illness.

Frank, who earned an Oscar nomina­tion for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in the 2008 film “Frost/Nixon,” has been a close friend of Walters for years.

“The two spent time together in January,” noted a source. “Barbara has never had chicken pox, and Frank didn’t realize he was contagious with shingles at the time. Frank feels horrible because chicken pox can be very dangerous for older adults.”

Barbara, 83, is maintaining a sense of humor about her illness and “isn’t angry and doesn’t blame Frank,” the source added. “But she did tease him, saying he needed to stay home until he was all dried up so he doesn’t infect any other little old ladies!”