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"Dick" Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor, comedian, writer,
and producer with a career spanning six decades. He is the older brother of
Jerry Van Dyke and father of Barry Van Dyke. Van Dyke starred in the films Bye
Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and in the TV series The
Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis: Murder. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of
Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
Wayne Van Dyke
1925 (1925-12-13) (age 86)
Danville High School
Actor, comedian, producer, writer
Dick Van Dyke Show,
Willett (1948–84, divorced), 4 children
Michelle Triola (1976–2009, her death)
Barry Van Dyke
Carrie Beth Van
Stacy Van Dyke
Jerry Van Dyke
Shane Van Dyke
Life and career
Van Dyke was
born in West Plains, Missouri, to Loren (nickname "Cookie") and Hazel (born
McCord) Van Dyke, but he grew up in Danville, Illinois. He is the older brother
of actor Jerry Van Dyke, who is best known for his role on the TV series Coach.
His grandson, Shane Van Dyke, is also an actor, and directed Titanic II. He is
of Dutch descent on his father's side. His mother, as a Mayflower descendant,
is of English extraction but also carries additional Scottish ancestry.[citation
War II, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps where he became a radio
announcer and served in Special Services entertaining troops in the Continental
United States. While Van Dyke appeared at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire
Boulevard in Los Angeles, he and the former Margerie Willett were married on the
radio show Bride and Groom in 1948. They had four children: Christian
(Chris), Barry, Carrie Beth, and Stacy. They divorced in 1984
after a long separation. He lived with longtime companion Michelle Triola for
more than 30 years until her death in 2009. Van Dyke's son Barry Van Dyke
and grandsons Shane Van Dyke and Carey Van Dyke are also actors; both of these
last two, along with other Van Dyke relations and grandchildren, appeared in
various episodes of the long-running series Diagnosis: Murder. All of Van Dyke's
children are married, and he has seven grandchildren. His son Chris was district
attorney for Marion County, Oregon in the 1980s. In 1987, his granddaughter
Jessica Van Dyke died from Reye's Syndrome, which drove him to do a series of
television commercials to raise public awareness of the danger of aspirin to
children. In 2010, he said he had once been rescued from drifting out to sea and
possible death by a pod of dolphins.
On February 29,
2012, Van Dyke married make-up artist Arlene Silver, 40. They had met six years
previously at the SAG awards.
Radio and stage
During the late
1940s, Van Dyke was a radio DJ in Danville, Illinois. In 1947, Van Dyke was
persuaded by Phil Erickson to form a comedy duo with him called "Eric and
Van—the Merry Mutes." The team toured the West Coast nightclub circuit,
performing a mime act and lip synching to old 78 records. They brought their act
to Atlanta, Georgia, in the early 1950s and performed a local television show
featuring original skits and music called "The Merry Mutes".
On the stage,
Van Dyke was the lead in Broadway's Bye Bye Birdie. In a May 2011 interview with
Rachael Ray, Van Dyke noted that when he auditioned for a smaller part in the
show he had no dance experience, and that after he sang his audition song he did
an impromptu soft-shoe out of sheer nervousness. Gower Champion, the show's
director and choreographer, was watching, and promptly went up on stage to
inform Van Dyke he had the lead. An astonished Van Dyke protested that he could
not dance, to which Champion replied "We'll teach you". That musical won four
Tony awards including Van Dyke's Best Featured Actor Tony, in 1961. In 1980,
Van Dyke appeared as the title role in The Music Man on Broadway.[citation
Dick Van Dyke's
start in television was with WDSU-TV New Orleans Channel 6 (NBC), first as a
single comedian and later as emcee of a comedy program. Van Dyke's first
network TV appearance was with Dennis James on James' Chance of a Lifetime in
1954. He later appeared on The Phil Silvers Show in the 1957–19588 season. He
also appeared early in his career on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom and
NBC's The Polly Bergen Show. During this time a friend from the Army was working
as an executive for CBS television and recommended Van Dyke to that network. Out
of this came a seven year contract with the network. During an interview on
NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! program, Van Dyke said he was the anchorman
for the CBS morning show during this period with Walter Cronkite as his
starred in the situation comedy The Dick Van Dyke Show on CBS from 1961 to 1966,
in which he portrayed a comedy writer named Rob Petrie. Originally the show was
supposed to have Carl Reiner as the lead but CBS insisted on recasting and
Reiner chose Van Dyke to replace him in the role. Complementing Van Dyke was
a veteran cast of comic actors including Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Jerry
Paris, Ann Morgan Guilbert, and Carl Reiner (as Alan Brady), as well as
television newcomer Mary Tyler Moore, who played Rob's wife, Laura Petrie. Van
Dyke won three Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and the
series received four Emmy Awards as Outstanding Comedy Series.
From 1971 to
1974, Van Dyke starred in an unrelated sitcom called The New Dick Van Dyke Show
in which he starred as a local television talk show host. He received a Golden
Globe nomination for his performance but the show was less successful than its
predecessor, and Van Dyke pulled the plug on the show after just three
seasons. In 1973, Van Dyke voiced his animated likeness for the October 27,
1973 installment of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Scooby-Doo Meets
Dick Van Dyke," the series' final first-run episode. The following year, he
received an Emmy Award nomination for his role as an alcoholic businessman in
the television movie The Morning After (1974). Van Dyke revealed after its
release that he had recently overcome a real-life drinking problem. That same
year he guest-starred as a murdering photographer on an episode of Columbo. Van
Dyke returned to comedy in 1976 with the sketch comedy show Van Dyke and
Company, which co-starred Andy Kaufman and Super Dave Osborne. Despite being
canceled after three months, the show won an Emmy Award for Outstanding
Comedy-Variety Series. When Carol Burnett's main foil, Harvey
Korman, quit Burnett's long-running variety series in 1977 Van Dyke took his
place. This was the first time he had ever played second banana on television
and there were few comic sparks between Van Dyke and Burnett. He left after
three months. For the next decade he appeared mostly in low-rated TV
movies. One exception was an atypical role as a murdering judge
on the first episode of the TV series Matlock in 1986 starring Andy Griffith. In
1989, he guest-starred on the NBC comedy series The Golden Girls portraying a
lover of Beatrice Arthur's character. This role earned him his first Emmy Award
nomination since 1977.
His film work
affected his TV career: the reviews he received for his role as D.A. Fletcher in
Dick Tracy led him to star first as the character Dr. Mark Sloan in an episode
of Jake and the Fatman, then in a series of TV movies on CBS that became the
foundation for his popular television drama Diagnosis: Murder. The series ran
from 1993 to 2001 with son Barry Van Dyke co-starring in the role of Dr. Sloan's
son Lieutenant Detective Steve Sloan. Also starring on the same show was a
familiar daytime soap actress, Victoria Rowell, as Dr. Sloan's
pathologist/medical partner, Dr. Amanda Bentley, and an unfamiliar character
actor and lifelong Van Dyke fan, Charlie Schlatter, in the role of Dr. Sloan's
handsome, resident student, Dr. Jesse Travis. Van Dyke continued to find
television work after the show ended, including a dramatically and critically
successful performance of The Gin Game, produced for television in 2003 that
reunited him with Mary Tyler Moore. In 2003 he portrayed a doctor on Scrubs. A
2004 special of The Dick Van Dyke Show titled The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited
was heavily promoted as the first new episode of the classic series to be shown
in 38 years. Van Dyke and his surviving cast members recreated their roles; the
program was roundly panned by critics. In 2006 he guest-starred as college
professor Dr. Jonathan Maxwell for a series of Murder 101 mystery films on the
Van Dyke began
his film career by playing the role of Albert F. Peterson in the film version of
Bye Bye Birdie (1963). Despite his unhappiness with the adaptation—its focus
differed from the stage version— the film was a success. That same year, Van
Dyke was cast in two roles: as the chimney sweep Bert, and as Mr. Dawes Senior,
the chairman of the bank in Walt Disney's Mary Poppins (1964). For his scenes as
the chairman, he was heavily costumed to look much older, and was credited in
that role as "Nackvid Keyd" (at the end of the credits, the letters unscramble
into "Dick Van Dyke"). Van Dyke's attempt at a cockney accent has been decried
as one of the worst accents in film history, cited as an example by actors since
as an example of how not to sound. In a 2003 poll by Empire magazine of the
worst-ever accents in film, he came in second. According to Van Dyke,
his accent coach was Irish, who "didn't do an accent any better than I
did." Still, Mary Poppins was successful upon release and its enduring
appeal has made it one of the most famous films of all time. "Chim Chim
Cher-ee", one of the songs that Van Dyke performed in Mary Poppins, won the
Academy Award for Best Original Song for the Sherman Brothers, the film's
Many of the
comedy films Van Dyke starred in throughout the 1960s were relatively
unsuccessful at the box office, including What a Way to Go!, Lt. Robin Crusoe,
U.S.N., Fitzwilly, The Art of Love, Some Kind of a Nut, Never a Dull Moment, and
Divorce American Style. But he also starred (with his native accent, despite the
English setting) in the successful musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), which
co-starred Sally Ann Howes and featured songs by the Sherman Brothers, and
choreography by Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood. The Sherman Brothers, Breaux, and
Wood were also songsmiths and choreographers for Mary Poppins.
In 1969, Van
Dyke appeared in the comedy-drama The Comic, written and directed by Carl
Reiner. Van Dyke portrayed a self-destructive silent-film era comedian who
struggles with alcoholism, depression, and his own rampant ego. Reiner wrote the
film especially for Van Dyke, who often spoke of his admiration for silent film
era comedians such as Charlie Chaplin and his hero Stan Laurel. Twenty one
years later in 1990, Van Dyke, whose usual role had been the amiable hero, took
a small but villainous turn as the crooked D.A. Fletcher in Warren Beatty's film
Dick Tracy. Van Dyke returned to motion pictures in 2006 with Curious George as
Mr. Bloomsberry and as villain Cecil Fredericks in the Ben Stiller film Night at
the Museum. He reprised the role in a cameo for the sequel, Night at the
Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian but it was cut from the film. It can be found
in the special features on the DVD release.
received a Grammy Award for his performance on the soundtrack to Mary
Poppins. In 1970 he published Faith, Hope and Hilarity: A
Child's Eye View of Religion a book of humorous anecdotes based largely on his
experiences as a Sunday School teacher. Van Dyke was principal in "KXIV
Inc." and owned 1400 AM KXIV in Phoenix (later KSUN) from 1965 to 1985. KXIV was
at one time an applicant for an FM station in the same area.
As an a
cappella enthusiast, Van Dyke has sung in a group called "The Vantastix" since
September 2000. The quartet has performed several times in Los Angeles as well
as on Larry King Live, The First Annual TV Land Awards, and sung the national
anthem at three Los Angeles Lakers games including a nationally televised NBA
Finals performance on NBC. Van Dyke was made an honorary member of the
Barbershop Harmony Society in 1999.
Van Dyke became
a computer animation enthusiast after purchasing a Commodore Amiga in 1991. He
is credited with the creation of 3D-rendered effects used on Diagnosis: Murder
and The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited. Van Dyke has displayed his
computer-generated imagery work at SIGGRAPH, and continues to work with
LightWave 3D. In 2010, Van Dyke appeared on a children's album titled
Rhythm Train, with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and singer Leslie
Bixler. Van Dyke raps on one of the album's tracks.
Van Dyke, Dick
(May 3, 2011). My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business. Crown Archetype. ISBN
9780307592231. LCCN 2010-43698. (Van Dyke's memoir)
Van Dyke, Dick
(1967). Altar Egos. F. H. Revell Co.. LCCN 67-28866.
Van Dyke, Dick
(1970). Ray Parker. ed. Faith, hope and hilarity. Phil Interlandi (drawings).
Garden City, New York: Doubleday. LCCN 70-126387.
Bye Bye Birdie
(Original Cast Album) (1960)
Bye Bye Birdie
Songs I Like By
Dick Van Dyke (with Enoch Light & his Orchestra/Ray Charles Singers) (1963)
Put on a Happy
Face (with Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix) (2008)
(with Leslie Bixler and Chad Smith) (2010)
Against the Boys (November 2, 1959 – November 14, 1959)
Bye Bye Birdie
(April 14, 1960 – October 7, 1961) (left the show when it moved to the Shubert
The Music Man
(June 5, 1980 – June 22, 1980) (Revival)
The Dancer's Life (guest star from January 24, 2006 – January 26, 2006)
Albert F. Peterson
What a Way to Go!
Bert/Mr. Dawes, Senior
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical
Art of Love
Paul Sloane/Toulouse aka Picasso
Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.
Divorce American Style
Claude R. Fitzwilliam
Never a Dull Moment
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Some Kind of a Nut
Rev. Clayton Brooks
Tubby the Tuba
Tubby the Tuba
Father Brian Rivard
Walt - The Man Behind the Myth
Batman: New Times
Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
he is not seen in the regular release of Night at the Museum: Battle of the
Smithsonian, Dick van Dyke's work can be seen in the "Deleted Scenes" section of
the film's DVD, along with Bill Cobbs and Mickey Rooney.
Show (1955) (host)
To Tell the
Silvers Show (1957)
Showroom Starring Andy Williams (1958)
(1959) (canceled after 3 months)
The Dick Van
Dyke Show (1961–1966)
"Dick Van Dyke
and the Other Woman" (1969)
"Dick Van Dyke
Meets Bill Cosby" (1970)
The New Dick
Van Dyke Show (1971–1974)
Scooby-Doo Movies (1973)
"Julie and Dick
at Covent Garden" (1974)
Negative Reaction (1974)
Van Dyke and
Burnett Show (cast member in 1977)
Wrong Way Kid
Les and Bess" (1985)
Ghost of a
The Van Dyke
The House on
Sycamore Street (1992)
"The Town That
Santa Forgot" (1993) (voice)
A Twist of the
Does America (2003)
A Town Without
Murder - Without Warning (2002)
Teenage Witch as Duke (2000)
The Gin Game
The Alan Brady
Show (2003) (voice)
The Dick Van
Dyke Show Revisited (2004)
The Bonnie Hunt
The Late Late
Show with Craig Ferguson (2010)
The Rachel Ray
The Late Late
Show with Craig Ferguson (2011)
1.^ a b "Dick
Van Dyke, 86, Marries 40-Year-Old Makeup Artist". Article and video interview
with Van Dyke and Silver, RumorFix.com. March 9, 2012. Archived from the
original on March 11, 2012. http://rumorfix.com/2012/03/dick-van-dyke-86-marries-40-year-old-makeup-artist/.
Retrieved March 11, 2012.
Walk of Fame". http://www.hollywoodusa.co.uk/walkoffamestarlocations.htm#V..
Descendants of Mayflower Passengers". MayflowerHistory.com. http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/Genealogy/famousdescendants.php.
4.^ Adir, Karin
(1988). The Great Clowns of American Television. Jefferson, North Carolina:
McFarland. p. 219. ISBN 0899503004.
5.^ a b c King,
Susan (December 6, 2010). "A Step In Time With Dick Van Dyke". Los Angeles
Anahad (October 30, 2009). "Michelle Triola Marvin, of Landmark Palimony Suit,
Dies at 76". New York Times.
figure Michelle Triola Marvin Dies" (Fee). Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/palimony-figure-michelle-triola-marvin-dies/article1347805/.
of job turns Van Dyke's hair gray". Altus Times (Google News Archive). April 21,
Retrieved 2011-08-03. Chris Van Dyke prosecuted the so-called I-5 Killer,
9.^ "Dick Van
Dyke's Charity Work, Events and Causes". Looktothestars.org. http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/1733-dick-van-dyke.
Xan (2010-11-11). "Porpoises rescue Dick Van Dyke". Guardian News and Media
11.^ "VAN DYKE,
DICK - The Museum of Broadcast Communications". Museum.tv. 1992-10-21. http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=vandykedic.
to Wits' End Productions—Your Figment...Our Imagination!". Wits' End
Productions. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
"Masterworks Broadway/Dick Van Dyke". Sony Music Entertainment. 2011. http://www.masterworksbroadway.com/artist/dick-van-dyke.
Orleans TV: The Golden Age, documentary produced by WYES-TV New Orleans Channel
12, broadcast 2009-07-18; published at WYES. See also WDSU Serves New Orleans
Since 1948 and Dave Walker That old-time TV: New book celebrates 60 years of
Wait... Don't Tell Me!", Rundown, NPR, 23 October 2010, http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=35&prgDate=10-23-2010
Tim; Earl Marsh (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable
TV Shows. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
17.^ "Dick Van
Dyke's prescription for success". CNN. 2008. http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/9803/09/vandyke.diagnosis.lat/.
18.^ Van Dyke
Murder S8 | Universal Channel UK". Universalchannel.co.uk. 1925-12-13. http://www.universalchannel.co.uk/shows/diagnosis-murder-s8.
20.^ Van Dyke
was unhappy because it became a vehicle for Ann-Margaret, see "Dick Van Dyke
Dances Through Life", Bill Keveney, USA Today, April 28, 2011
writers (2003-06-30). "Connery 'has worst film accent'". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3032052.stm.
22.^ "How not
to do an American accent," BBC News online 21 July 2008, accessed 22 Sept. 2010
23.^ "Dick van
Dyke Plays Not My Job". Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!. 2010-10-23.
Susan (December 6, 2010). "A Step In Time With Dick Van Dyke". Los Angeles
"Somebody sent me a British magazine listing the 20 worst dialects ever done in
movies. I was No. 2, with the worst Cockney accent ever done. No. 1 was Sean
Connery, because he uses his Scottish brogue no matter what he's playing."
Comic". Tcm.com. 1998-01-08.
26.^ "Night At
The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)". Baseline. 2011.
page for Faith, Hope and Hilarity". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385000510.
Harmony Society - Honorary Members
Katie (2000-06-22). "The Return of a Desktop Cult Classic (No, Not the Mac)".
The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/06/circuits/articles/22amig.html?oref=login.
30.^ Hill, Jim
(2004-08-11). "Do you think that TV legends can't master computer animation?
Well then ... You clearly don't know Dick". Jim Hill Media. http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/archive/2004/08/11/443.aspx.
31.^ "Red Hot
Chili Peppers' Chad Has Dick Van Dyke Rapping On His New Album". MusicRooms.net.
April 12, 2010.
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