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What You Didn't Know About Betty White And Lucille Ball's Relationship

Betty White and Lucille Ball are two of the greatest comedy legends in American television history –- national treasures, if you will –- but many fans of the famous funny ladies may not realize that they were also close friends. White and Ball shared a 30-year friendship that began during the iconic redhead's reign on the beloved CBS sitcom "I Love Lucy" in the late 1950s and lasted until her death in 1989.

The two stars first met in 1957, when White was working on the TV comedy "Date With the Angels," which taped at Ball's famed Desilu Studios while the sitcom star was also taping the final season of "I Love Lucy," according to Closer Weekly. The two formed an immediate bond. "Lucy and Betty's relationship spanned more than just being show business acquaintances. They considered each other family," an insider told the outlet.

Their bond extended to their husbands. Once both women were remarried in the early 1960s — Ball to comedian Gary Morton in 1961 following her divorce from Desi Arnaz, and White to "Password" host Allen Ludden in 1963 — the group became best friend couples.  

White also confirmed the friendship several years ago during a 2014 Reddit AMA, telling fans (per Showbiz CheatSheet), "Lucy was one of my dearest friends ... She was dynamite. Everything you saw was what you got."

"The Golden Girls" star once told The Atlantic that while she never got to work with Ball as an actress, it felt like they worked together because they spent so much time hanging out as "buddies." As it turns out, the Ball/White relationship goes beyond the two acting legends.

Lucille Ball's and Betty White's mothers were besties

Not only were White and Ball besties, but so were their mothers, DeDe Ball and Tess White, per Variety. White told Closer Weekly that as her friendship with Ball grew, a friendship also blossomed between "our two dynamite mothers, DeDe Ball and Tess White."

Mama Ball, a former concert pianist, and Mama White, a homemaker, were two tough-as-nails ladies who taught their daughters how to stand up for themselves and stand tall against the men in show business. Their successful daughters enjoyed parallel career paths with TV fame and even their own production companies, a massive achievement for women in show business at the time. While Ball had Desilu, White formed Bandy Productions with partners George Tibbles, and Don Fedderson in the early 1960s, according to Outsider.

In addition to massive career success as comedy legends, White and Ball shared serious moments together as they dealt with personal tragedies. When Ball's elderly mother fell ill in the late 1970s, the star of "The Lucy Show" dragged White aside at a party and asked her, "What the hell am I going to do if I lose my mother?'" After the Ball matriarch passed away in 1977, White said her famous pal "sort of took my mom over."

"Every year on DeDe's birthday, she would send my mom a basket of violets," White told Closer of Ball. "[She was] some kind of a lady." We think they all were.