Dec. 13th, 1925
West Plains, Missouri, USA
Dick Van Dyke's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Richard Wayne "Dick" Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor, comedian, writer, singer, dancer, and producer with a career spanning seven decades.
Born in West Plains, Missouri, to Loren (nickname "Cookie") and Hazel (née 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 was a descendant of Mayflower passenger Peter Browne from England.
Although he'd had small roles beforehand, Van Dyke was launched to stardom in the 1960 musical "Bye-Bye Birdie", for which he won a Tony Award, and then later in the movie based on that play, Bye Bye Birdie (1963).
He has starred in a number of films throughout the years including Mary Poppins (1964), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and Fitzwilly (1967), as well as a number of successful television series which won him no less than four Emmys and three made-for-CBS movies.
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.
In 2006 he guest-starred as college professor Dr. Jonathan Maxwell for a series of Murder 101 mystery films on the Hallmark Channel.
In 1948, while Van Dyke was appearing at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, he and Margerie Willett were married on the radio show Bride and Groom. They had four children born during the first ten years of their marriage: son (Barry Van Dyke); daughter (Carrie Beth Van Dyke); son (Christian "Chris" Van Dyke) and daughter (Stacy Van Dyke), all of whom are now in their forties and married themselves. They divorced in 1984 after a long separation.
After separating from his wife Margie Willett in the 1970s, Van Dyke became involved and lived with longtime companion Michelle Triola for more than 30 years, until her death (2009).
On February 29, 2012, Van Dyke married make-up artist Arlene Silver, 40. They had met six years previously at the SAG awards.
Van Dyke has seven grandchildren, including (actor) 'Shane Van Dyke', (actor) 'Carey Van Dyke', (actor) 'Wes Van Dyke' and (actress) "Taryn Van Dyke' (Barry's children) and family members often appeared with him on Diagnosis Murder (1993).
Although Stacey Van Dyke was not famous in show business, she did make an appearance in a Christmas episode "Murder in the Family" of Diagnosis: Murder (Season 4, Episode 12) as Carol Sloan Hilton, the estranged daughter of Doctor Mark Sloan.
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.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard. Van Dyke received The Life Achievement Award at the annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony on January 27, 2013.
- Grew up in Danville, Illinois, with brother 'Jerry Van Dyke' (qv) and fellow celebrities 'Gene Hackman' (qv) and 'Bobby Short' (qv). Was a graduate of Danville High School, where he was in the drama club.
- Although he had light brown hair when he was in his 30s and 40s, he had blonde hair as a child.
- The album "Songs I Like By Dick Van Dyke" was recorded on Friday, November 22, 1963. Early in the recording session the artists and orchestra were informed of the assassination of President 'John F. Kennedy' (qv) in Dallas, Texas. In spite of the tragic news, and a deadline from Command Records that had to be met, the recording session continued to a successful conclusion - albeit in an emotionally-charged atmosphere. He said that he scarcely remembers the session because he was in such a state of shock after hearing the news.
- His album "Songs I Like By Dick Van Dyke" (Command Records, 1963), released at the height of his TV success and just before the release of _Mary Poppins (1964)_ (qv), was actually a best-seller, remaining on Billboard's top-40 albums chart for several weeks in late 1963-early 1964.
- Is a close friend of his _"The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961)_ (qv) co-star 'Mary Tyler Moore' (qv).
- In Britain, his attempt at a Cockney accent in _Mary Poppins (1964)_ (qv) is so notorious that a "Dick Van Dyke accent" is an accepted slang term for an American's unsuccessful attempt at a British accent. Despite that, he is quite popular in Britain.
- He enlisted to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps during WWII, but initially did not make the cut because he did not meet the weight requirement, as he was underweight. He tried 3 times to enlist, before barely making the cut. He actually served as a radio announcer during the war, and he did not leave the United States.
- His romantic companion for the last couple decades has been 'Michelle Triola' (qv).