Dick Van Dyke on Late Co-Star Mary Tyler Moore: “We Had a Crush on Each Other!”

Dick Van Dyke is remembering his late co-star and close friend Mary Tyler Moore just days after her tragic passing.

In an exclusive new interview with Closer Weekly the 91-year-old actor candidly opened up about his relationship with Mary — and revealed he had a “crush” on the late actress!

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“We had a crush on each other. We got to where we could read each other’s minds. It was like doing improv,” Dick told Closer of working with Mary on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

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Mary and Dick on The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1961.

Mary — who sadly passed away at age 80 on Jan. 25 of cardiopulmonary arrest after contracting pneumonia — and Dick starred as married couple Rob and Laura Petrie on the hit sitcom, which aired on CBS from 1961 until 1966.

The Dick Van Dyke Show‘s creator, Carl Reiner, revealed to Closer that Mary and Dick’s relationship was even more serious than fans realized. “They both really cared for each other, and if they weren’t married to other people, they would’ve made a couple,” Carl said.

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When asked in a previous interview about a rumored romance with Dick, Mary once coyly replied, “Dick was not in love with me. He just thought I was a nifty dame.”

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Dick and Mary in 2003.

Following Mary’s death, Dick remembered his late co-star — and sweetly recalled the first time he met The Mary Tyler Moore Show actress in the late 1950s. “She was 23-years-old, gorgeous of course, and had a kind of mid-Atlantic accent. She sounded a little bit like Katharine Hepburn,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

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“My first question was, ‘Can this girl do comedy?’ After that I said, ‘She’s a little young for me.’ I got to be on hand and watch her grow into the talent she became. She was just the best… [The Dick Van Dyke Show] was the best five years of my life,” he said.

For more on Mary and Dick, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!

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Click through the gallery below to see more stars’ reactions to Mary’s passing.