Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Dick Van Dyke Looks Back at Six-Decade Career at 98, Calls Himself ‘Lazy’

Dick Van Dyke Looks Back at Six-Decade Career at 98, Calls Himself ‘Lazy’

Whether as a successful TV writer, crime-solving doctor, or a well-meaning chimney sweep, Dick Van Dyke has quite a resume. It looks good to all of his fans who have been watching him for a long time. From his viewpoint, though, Van Dyke calls himself lazy.

Why would he do this? It just goes back to his philosophy around getting new jobs. Van Dyke elaborated on this point while chatting it up with CBS for a feature story.

“As a businessman, I’m not much good. I would do a movie and come home, and just sit down and wait for the phone to ring. I wasn’t aggressive,” Van Dyke shared in a December 17 interview on CBS’ Sunday Morning. The Mary Poppins star claims he “was out of work a lot because I didn’t go out and look for it.”

The veteran actor on stage, screen, and television considers himself to be a pretty lazy person. “I didn’t mind it,” the actor explained. “I’m pretty lazy, really. When I’m having fun, all right, but I’m a lazy person. I don’t have a lot of drive. I’ve been very lucky.”

Oh, by the way, Van Dyke has won a Tony, Academy, and Emmy Award. It makes him one of the few rare people to do that.

If he considers himself lazy, then he’s definitely been one of the busiest ones in show business. Van Dyke has been a presence in people’s lives for decades. Of course, his fans still hold The Dick Van Dyke Show in high regard. That show was five seasons of great writing, acting, comedy, and timing. What a cast, too. Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Richards, Richard Deacon, and Carl Reiner, too. Toss in some amazing guest stars and that show rocked.

Dick Van Dyke Has Enjoyed Success in His Career

Much later in his career, Van Dyke returned for a good run in Diagnosis: Murder. In this show, also on CBS, Dick Van Dyke worked with his son Barry Van Dyke on there.

Movie work included his incredible turn as Bert the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Remember when he played a minister trying to quit smoking? That movie’s title was Cold Turkey. Also, he reprised his role from the Broadway hit Bye Bye Birdie for the big screen. And we cannot forget his role in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

These days, Dick Van Dyke, 98, makes rare public appearances. He’s not totally a recluse but does stay close to his California home. Van Dyke is married to Arlene Silver. They tied the knot back in 2012.

During this interview, there’s a clip of Van Dyke singing with his group for a four-man quartet.

On December 21, CBS will air a special titled Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of Magic. It will have plenty of video highlights from his career. Yet there will be bittersweet moments, too. For instance, with all the great people he’s worked with on his old show, Van Dyke is the only one still alive.

One part of Dick Van Dyke’s life, for which he has expressed his desire and happiness, that he’s openly talked about is his recovery from alcoholism. Van Dyke is an example of someone who has surrendered to a program of recovery. He has enjoyed a number of sober days in a row.

In previous interviews, Dick Van Dyke has said that actor-comedian Stan Laurel was a huge influence. They would connect with one another at times, and Van Dyke would ask for tips for his comedy and dancing bits.

Dick Van Dyke loves his life and spending it with silver. Here’s wishing Van Dyke a few more birthday celebrations.