A living legend! Dick Van Dyke has starred on the stage and screen for decades, becoming one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood and endearing himself to generations of fans.
The Mary Poppins star — who has four Emmys, one Grammy and a Tony Award to his name — left the Masked Singer audience floored when he revealed himself as the Gnome in February 2023. At 97 years old, he set a record for being the oldest contestant on the show.
“I still go to the gym three days a week and work out. And I advise everybody to do that, because that’s what ages people — it’s just a stiffening up and not exercising their muscles and their lungs,” the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor told Yahoo! Music at the time about how he manages to stay so youthful at nearly 100 years old. “Exercise is the answer.”
Of course, Van Dyke surmised, good genes play a part — and “having a beautiful young wife half my age to take care of me — that works!” he joked to the outlet, referring to his wife, Arlene Silver, whom he married in 2012. “My positive attitude, I get that from my wife.”
Prior to his marriage to Silver, Van Dyke wed his first wife, Margie Willet, in 1948. The pair had four children: Christian, Barry, Stacy and Carrie Beth, several of whom the Night at the Museum star has acted alongside throughout the years. After the death of Christian’s 13-year-old daughter, Jessica, in 1987 from Reye’s Syndrome, Van Dyke appeared in a series of PSAs warning families about the dangers of giving aspirin to children, which is commonly linked to the fatal disease.
Though Van Dyke and Willet were married until 1984, they split long before finalizing their divorce. The Dick Van Dyke Show alum was in a relationship with actress Michelle Triola Marvin from the late 1970s to her death in 2009.
In addition to his real-life loves, Van Dyke — who originated the role of Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway (and later, reprised it in the 1963 film) — also had palpable chemistry with his onscreen wife Mary Tyler Moore on the Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961 to 1966 and earned 15 Emmy awards.
Van Dyke described their onscreen romance as “easy” to Yahoo! Music in February 2023, explaining that it was because “Mary and I kind of dug each other in real life, you know! I thought she was pretty great,” he gushed. “And so, I think that translated onto film.” The actor even joked that he was still bitter that their characters weren’t allowed to share the same bed on television at the time. “What made me mad was that Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette got to share of bed [on The Bob Newhart Show], and they wouldn’t let us,” he told the outlet. “I’m still mad about that!”
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