With over 60 years of acting experience comedic actorhas had a lifetime of performances and next January when the Screen Actor’s Guild presents their annual awards, they will also honour Van Dyke with The Life Achievement Award.
He was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke on December 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri but grew up in Danville, Illinois. A very young Dick made his acting debut at a very young age when he played the role of the babyin a Christmas play. Van Dyke made numerous attempts at joining the military during World War II and finally was accepted into the service where he was a radio announcer in the US.
Before coming to the stage, Van Dyke performed slapstick comedy routine. While known by many for his self titled sitcoms of the sixties, seventies, and eighties; Van Dyke could also sing and dance as demonstrated in movies like “Mary Poppins” where he played the happy go lucky chimney sweep Bert, for which he won a Grammy Award and on Broadway where he won a Tony Award for his 1960 performance of “Bye-Bye Birdie”.
Van Dyke is a member of the a’ cappella quartet The Vantastix
Van Dyke made his television debut in 1957 on the TV series “The Phil Silvers Show”; from there he went on to appear in nearly 70 roles including “Bye Bye Birdie”, “Mary Poppins”, 158 episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Bill Cosby Show”, 73 episodes of “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Columbo”, 12 episodes of “The Carol Burnett Show”, “Matlock”, “Highway to Heaven”, “Airwolf”, 10 episodes of “The Van Dyke Show”, “The Golden Girls”, “Dick Tracy”, “Jake and the Fatman”, “Becker”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, 179 episodes of “Diagnosis Murder”, “Scrubs”, “Murder 101”, “Night at the Museum”, and “Fun with Dick and Jerry Van Dyke”.
Throughout his career, Van Dyke has earned four Emmy Awards.