Dick Van Dyke is a well-known man in the entertainment industry as he has a litany of wondrous talents that he’s been sharing with the world since the late 1940s. In 1961, he starred in the original production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” and the role earned him a Tony Award for best actor in a musical. That was also the year his series, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” first aired, and it would continue until 1966. This was the show that made the actor a household name.
As an actor, comedian, writer, singer, and dancer, this award-winning entertainer has been unstoppable in paving the way for not only himself but up-and-coming rising stars. With memorable films like “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Mary Poppins” under his belt, Van Dyke has become an icon in his field of work and has left many fans and critics happy and smiling with all of his great work.
With a career spanning seven decades, it’s no surprise that Van Dyke has won a handful of awards and has made a positive impact on others in the industry, his fans at home and even his own family.
Van Dyke has four children and seven grandchildren and has incorporated his family into his television endeavors. He was recently seen dancing alongside a much younger woman in a Valentine’s Day 2022 video – a woman that has been Van Dyke’s wife for just over a decade. Read on to find out more about Van Dyke’s life, career and marriage to Arlene Silver.
Van Dyke was born on Dec. 13, 1925, in West Plains, Missouri, and grew up in Illinois. Ever since he was a child, Van Dyke has had a passion for singing and dancing. As he describes in his book “My lucky life in and out of show business: a memoir,” he took a drama class in high school that made him fall in love with acting, and he decided to become a professional entertainer.
Van Dyke is known for his physical comedic acting abilities, and CBS This Morning described him as elastic-limbed with impeccable timing. Van Dyke told the program, “I had always been an admirer of Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy. So as a kid I practiced falling. And I had worked it all out.”
The actor’s initial claim to fame was performing in “Bye Bye Birdie” on Broadway and then in the “Dick Van Dyke Show,” but he is most well-known with younger audiences for appearing in “Mary Poppins.”
Today, Van Dyke is 96 and has been healthy and sober for years. The performer is still full of life and makes sure to keep up an active lifestyle. In his interview with CBS This Morning in June 2021, he took the crew into the backyard to show them how he does sit-ups.
Van Dyke told the team: “I’m 95, and a lot of my friends won’t do these… So all you old guys out there, listen to me, I’m telling you: You can keep going for a long time — I’m still dancing! And singing!”
It’s clear Van Dyke has had a remarkable career. Speaking with Parade in 2013, the star said that one of his favorite films of his was “Mary Poppins,” calling it one of the high points of his career. He explained:
“I loved being in that movie. The chimney sweep number with Julie (Andrews) was the most fun. I’ve always been very lucky when it came to leading ladies – Julie and Mary Tyler Moore – people who were not only very talented but very nice.”
He told the HuffPost that he still gets very nostalgic about his past work. “Oh yeah,” Van Dyke said. “I think the greatest five years of my life was ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ with (creator) Carl Reiner. He’s my favorite human being. It was the most creative atmosphere I was ever in, and I think I had the most fun.”
While Van Dyke certainly enjoyed spending time with Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and several others on-screen, he shared how much he loves spending time with his family off-screen. When asked if he enjoys being a great-grandfather, Van Dyke responded:
“I love it. They call me crazy grandpa! I have four kids, seven grandkids, and four great-grandkids. Maybe I can become a great-great-grandfather if I hang on!”
In fact, being such a noble family man is a big reason why Van Dyke picked some of his most iconic roles. “I was lucky to get the kinds of parts I wanted,” he told the HuffPost. “I always said I didn’t want to do anything kids can’t see.”
Van Dyke has been married to his current wife, Silver, since Feb. 29, 2012. The pair met six years prior at the SAG Awards. Van Dyke was 86 at the time, while Silver – a make-up artist – was 40.
Van Dyke and his wife performed a song for the CBS crew while they were filming. “I knew I liked to perform, but I didn’t know how much till this year. I’d do anything right now to get on the stage,” Van Dyke shared during the interview, which took place while pandemic measures were in place and live performances were restricted.
This wasn’t the only time Van Dyke and Silver showed off their amazing chemistry together. According to Classic Country Music, the pair often perform together in their home, even though Van Dyke is retired and is currently 96 years old.
For Valentine’s Day in 2022, the happy couple celebrated their love by singing and dancing along to “Everybody Loves a Lover” by Doris Day. They uploaded a music video to Silver’s YouTube channel. According to Classic Country Music, Silver sang Day’s part while Van Dyke added some scat singing. They were also joined by The Vantastix.
While the couple’s singing was beautiful together, their fun and energetic choreography is what has really captured the hearts of many fans from all over the world. It reminded everyone of just how incredible Van Dyke was as a performer so many years ago. Still, it’s clear that performing is in Van Dyke’s genes at every age, as he has continued to amaze the world with his skills and talents as the years have gone by.
What do you think about Dick Van Dyke and Arlene Silver’s music video? Are you surprised to see the actor is still so active? Let us know, and be sure to send this to your loved ones.