Dick Van Dyke
Source YouTube: CBS Sunday Morning, Ikenna Mokwe

The Hollywood star Dick Van Dyke is a true living legend. In a career that has spanned nearly seven decades, Van Dyke has starred in some of the most beloved movies and television shows of all time.

That’s why we’ve decided to take a walk down memory lane and get to know Van Dyke a little better. Scroll through below and learn a bit more about this iconic comedic star!

When Was Dick Van Dyke Born?

Dick Van Dyke was born on December 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri, USA. He went on to grow up in Danville, Illinois. Van Dyke’s mother was a stenographer mother and his father was a salesman. He had one younger brother Jerry Van Dyke (1931-2018), who would go on to also be a successful entertainer.

Though he considered going into the ministry, Van Dyke fell in love with acting after joining the drama club in high school. This convinced him to decide that he wanted a career in entertainment.

Van Dyke eventually dropped out of high school during his senior year to join the United States Army Air Forces for pilot training during World War II. However, he was then denied enlistment three times for being underweight.

Finally, Van Dyke was accepted for service as a radio announcer before transferring to the Special Services. He then entertained the troops stationed in the continental U.S. throughout the rest of the war.

How Did Dick Van Dyke Start His Career?

After the war, Van Dyke became a radio DJ in his hometown of Danville. He soon began working in television, eventually becoming the emcee of a local comedy program in New Orleans after moving there.

During the 1957–58 television season, Van Dyke acted in two episodes of The Phil Silver Show. This marked the beginning of a decades long career of on-camera work.

In 1959, Van Dyke made his Broadway debut in the play The Girls Against the Boy. His big break came the next year, when he was cast in the leading role of Albert Peterson in the hit musical Bye Bye Birdie alongside Chita Rivera. The show won four Tony Awards, one of which was Van Dyke winning for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in 1961.

That same year, Van Dyke achieved national fame when he scored Carl Reiner’s The Dick Van Dyke Show, which also starred Mary Tyler Moore and ran until 1966. The rest, as they say, is history. Van Dyke has been a beloved star ever since!

How Old Was Dick Van Dyke In Mary Poppins?

The classic Disney movie Mary Poppins was filmed over the summer of 1963. This means that Van Dyke was 37 when he filmed his iconic role of Bert the chimney sweep alongside Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins. He was 38 years-old when the movie came out in August of 1964.

Van Dyke would later open up about the surprising way he got the part in this classic movie.

“I thought Walt Disney hired me because I was such a great singer and dancer,” he later told CNN. “As it turns out, he had heard me in an interview talking about what was happening to family entertainment.”

“I was decrying the fact that it seemed like no holds were barred anymore in entertainment,” he added. “That’s why he called me in, because I said something he agreed with. And I got the part.”

Van Dyke ended up being nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in Mary Poppins. It remains one of his most beloved movies to this day!

Related: Dick Van Dyke Says People ‘Thought I Was Dead’ After He’s Revealed As ‘Masked Singer’ Contestant

How Many Times Has Dick Van Dyke Been Married?

Van Dyke has been married twice. Between his two marriages, he also had a third relationship that lasted decades.

Van Dyke married his first wife Margie Willett in 1948. They actually got married on a radio show called Bride and Groom. 

“We exchanged our vows in front of a minister and two radio microphones while 15 million people listened!” Van Dyke told The Guardian in 2016.

Willett never had any interest in Hollywood and always avoided the spotlight. The couple divorced in 1984 after 36 years of marriage, and she died in 2007 of pancreatic cancer.

After his divorce, Van Dyke began dating his agent’s secretary Michelle Triola. Though they never married, they were together for 35 “very happy” years from 1984 until Triola died in 2009 at age 76 after a battle with lung cancer.

Who Is Dick Van Dyke Married To?

Van Dyke has been married to the makeup artist Arlene Silver since 2012. They met at the 2006 SAG Awards, where she was working the event.

“There was something about her beautiful eyes,” Van Dyke later recalled.

After Triola’s death, Silver stopped by Van Dyke’s home to bring some food to comfort him. They hit it off, and married three years later.

Despite their 46-year age gap, Van Dyke and Silver have a deep love for one another.

“We don’t feel the age gap,” Van Dyke once said. “I’m emotionally immature and Arlene is very wise for her age, so we meet in the middle.”

Van Dyke also has no regrets about this marriage.

“It’s one of the smartest moves I ever made,” he once told Parade. “She makes me happy.”

Check out Van Dyke and Silver performing a duet together in 2022 in the video below.

Related: Dick Van Dyke, 98, Reveals Secret To Longevity Is ‘Beautiful Young Wife Half My Age’

How Many Kids Does Dick Van Dyke Have?

Van Dyke is the father of four children, all of whom he shared with his first wife Willett. The children are named Christian, Barry, Stacy and Carrie Beth.

“They all turned out great, I’m happy to say,” Van Dyke gushed to USA Today in 2011. “Not a horse thief in the bunch.”

Christian Van Dyke was born on May 13, 1950. He made his acting debut in a 1962 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in which he played a sassy youngster named Frankie. He would later become a lawyer and a district attorney in Oregon.

Barry Van Dyke was born on July 31, 1951. He made his acting debut on a 1961 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Unlike his older brother, however, Barry stuck with acting and made it his career in life as an adult. Barry now has 50 acting credits to his name. Most notably, he starred alongside his father in 178 episodes of Diagnosis Murder from 1993 until 2001, playing detective Steve Sloan.

Stacy Van Dyke was born around 1955. Like her brothers, Stacy acted alongside her father in her youth, taking on roles like Sally on The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Carol Hilton on Diagnosis: Murder. Little is known about her personal life, however, as she’s mostly stayed out of the public eye. In 2017, she and her musician husband Mike Breen released a recording of “Away In A Manger” ahead of the holiday season.

Finally, Carrie Beth Van Dyke was born on October 18, 1961. She made her acting debut in two episodes of The New Dick Van Dyke Show in the early 1970s. Carrie Beth has largely stayed out of the spotlight throughout her life. Her husband, however, is the actor and musician Kevin McNally, who appeared in 19 episodes of Diagnosis Murder. It is known that Carrie Beth and her husband have two children.

What Awards Has Dick Van Dyke Won?

After winning his Tony Award for Bye Bye Birdie, Van Dyke has gone on to win many more awards. He has won four Emmy Awards. Three of them were for The Dick Van Dyke Show and one for the short-lived 1976 variety show Van Dyke and Company.

Van Dyke also won a Grammy Award in 1965 for Best Recording for Children for Mary Poppins. This means that he is one award away from being an EGOT, meaning someone who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. Sadly, Van Dyke has never even been nominated for an Oscar, but you never know what could happen in the future!

Van Dyke has, however been nominated for two Golden Globes! The first was for Mary Poppins, and the second was for The New Dick Van Dyke Show in 1972.

On top of all that, Van Dyke has won two Daytime Emmys. In fact, in June of 2024, he made history as the oldest star to ever win an Emmy at 98 years of age! Van Dyke won Outstanding Guest Performance in a Daytime Drama Series for appearing in four episodes of the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

Fans were astounded when the nonagenarian busted out a little dance to celebrate his achievement!

“Am I really the oldest?” Van Dyke told Entertainment Tonight afterwards. “I’ll be darned. I think I’m the last of my generation.”

“I’m 98. I have — almost — all my marbles. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast,” he jokingly added.

Find out more about this in the video below.

Related: Dick Van Dyke, 98, Opens Up About Decades-Long Career – ‘I Am Really Proud’

What Is Dick Van Dyke’s Net Worth?

Van Dyke has an estimated net worth of $50 million. This comes after decades of success as an actor, comedian, director, and producer.

Van Dyke is a true living legend, and there will never be another one like him. We wish Dick Van Dyke many years of health and happiness to come!

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