Dick Van Dyke is one of Hollywood’s most well-known and beloved actors. From Mary Poppins to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, he paved his way into many of our childhood memories. Over his 60-year career, he’s been known for his positivity, kindness and infectious smile.
Dick turns 90 today, so we thought we’d have a look at some of the highlights of his long career on stage, television and film.
1. Bye Bye Birdie – Broadway (1960).
Dick’s career kicked off after he landed the lead role in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway. He had no dancing experience prior to auditioning, but ended up with a Tony Award for his performance in 1961.
Watch Dick re-live one of the numbers below.
2. Bye Bye Birdie – Movie (1963).
Dick’s film career began once he was given the lead role in the film adaptation of Bye Bye Birdie.
3. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961 – 1966).
Dick found huge success in television, winning 3 Emmys for his role as comedy writer Rob Petrie in the hugely popular Dick Van Dyke Show.
Dick said of his time on the show, “We – the cast – always say that “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was the most fun, creative years of our lives. I’d still be doing it if they’d let me!”
4. Mary Poppins (1965).
In 1965 Dick played his most loved role: Bert in Mary Poppins. The performance won him a Grammy in 1964.
Did you know: In the movie, Dick also played Mr Dawes Sr, the old director of the bank. The part was credited to “Navckid Keyd”, an anagram of Dick van Dyke.
He later said that the cast “knew every day on set that they were creating something special.”
5. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).
Dick continued his reign in children’s films, starring as Caractacus Potts in the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
“They were making me up, and I saw the director call the makeup man over, and he says “What are we going to do about the hooter?” And the makeup guy said, ‘I’m not a plastic surgeon’,” Van Dyke said.
6. Diagnosis Murder (1993 – 2001).
After a bit of a hiatus, Dick left the singing and dancing behind to take on a more serious role in the TV series Diagnosis Murder.
7. Night at the museum (2006).
Straying from his usual loveable characters, Dick played the villain in Night at the Museum.
Ben Stiller later said of Van Dyke, “Dick is incredible. I mean, the dancing. I think there were two or three times when I turned to Dick and said ‘Youre 80? Really? I don’t believe you.”
8. Memoirs (2010, 2011).
In 2010 Dick reflected on his life with a musical memoir, A Step in Time. He also wrote a New York Times best-selling memoir in 2011, My Life In and Out of Show Business.
9. Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix (2000 to present).
One of Dick’s greatest legacies is how he has approached his old age. Dick hasn’t let growing older slow him down, continuing to perform in acapella group Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix since 2000.