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Thursday, September 12, 2024

Respect Your Elders: Dick Van Dyke

#RespectYourElders: Dick Van Dyke is an award-winning actor, comedian, singer and dancer best known for his starring role in the television classic, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” At 92, his impressive career has earned him five Primetime Emmys, a Tony Award, a Grammy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

From an early age, Van Dyke knew he wanted to dedicate his life to making people happy. Due to his religious upbringing, he initially considered a career as a minister, but his talent in high school theater inspired him to take a different path to reaching the hearts of millions.

“I suppose that I never completely gave up my childhood idea of being a minister,” Van Dyke said in his autobiography. “Only the medium and the message changed. I have still endeavored to touch people’s souls, to raise their spirits and put smiles on their faces.”

Soon after leaving high school, Van Dyke went on tour with comedian Phil Erikson in a mime routine. The tour gave him the exposure he needed to earn his first major role in the Broadway production of “The Girls Against the Boys.” After performing for a year, he auditioned for the role of Albert in “Bye Bye Birdie” on Broadway. Much to his own surprise, he was offered the part.

After earning a Tony Award for his performance, Van Dyke was offered the starring role on the groundbreaking sitcom, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” He played Rob Petrie from 1961 to 1966 alongside legendary comics Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Larry Mathews and Morey Amsterdam. His breakout sitcom debut was celebrated by critics and led him to take a number of high-profile roles over the years including the one he originated on Broadway in the film version of “Bye Bye Birdie,” Bert and Mr. Dawes Senior in “Mary Poppins” and Caractacus Potts in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Today, Van Dyke holds one of the longest careers in Hollywood. He is still actively taking on new film projects and recently delighted fans by announcing he would be reprising his 1964 role of Mr. Dawes in “Mary Poppins Returns.” This time around, he didn’t require any prosthetics to age himself for the role!

His latest film hits theaters December 19, 2018, but if you can’t wait to see a 92-year-old Van Dyke dancing on a tabletop, you can watch the trailer here.

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