Best Known For
Dick Van Dyke is an American actor and comedian best known for hosting The Dick Van Dyke Show. He's also known for starring on Diagnosis Murder and for roles in films like Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Night at the Museum.
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The now-classic comedy series was created by Carl Reiner, formerly a writer and performer on Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. Van Dyke drew from his own life for the show, which centered around the lives of television writer Rob Petrie and his wife,
Laura (played by Mary Tyler Moore). Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam played Petrie's friends and co-workers on the program.
Though The Dick Van Dyke Show got off to a slow start, it eventually developed quite a following; Van Dyke won over audiences with his good humor and likeability, and won three Emmy Awards for his work on the series. Decades after the show went off the air, in 1966, it remained a popular program in syndication. Following the show's end, Van Dyke starred in several other television series, including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, but none captured the public's heart the way his first sitcom did.
With the success of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Van Dyke was able to make the leap to feature films. His most memorable works were the musicals Mary Poppins (1965), with Julie Andrews; and Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang (1968).
Van Dyke took a more dramatic turn in the 1990s. He starred in the popular crime drama Diagnosis Murder alongside his real-life son, Barry Van Dyke. Debuting in 1993, the series featured Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical professional who helped the police solve crimes. The series ended in 2001, but Van Dyke didn't stay away from television for long. He played another amateur detective in a series of television movies, starting with 2006's Murder 101. That same year, Van Dyke appeared in the Ben Stiller comedy Night at the Museum.
Returning to the stage, Van Dyke made a special-guest appearance in Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life in 2006. He also transformed his own life into a theatrical production; Dick Van Dyke—A Step In Time: A Musical Memoir debuted at Los Angeles's Geffen Playhouse in 2010.
"I'm having the best so-called retirement of anyone I know, doing what I love doing," Van Dyke told BroadwayWorld.com in late 2010. "Eventually, I may try something less strenuous." The following year, he published a printed version of his story in My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business. Van Dyke shares his ups and downs in the book—including his struggles with alcoholism—with remarkable optimism and poise.
On January 27, 2013, at the age of 87, Van Dyke received the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. During his acceptance speech, Van Dyke reminisced about his work over the years as an entertainer and stated that his career has "been full of surprises and a lot of fun." He also praised actors working in the industry today, calling them "the greatest generation of actors" and telling them, "You've all lifted the art to another place now." He continued with a rhetorical question for his Hollywood colleagues: "Aren't we lucky to have found a line of work that doesn't require growing up? I love that." Van Dyke is the 49th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award, following 2012 honoree Mary Tyler Moore.
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