Actor Dick Van Dyke was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 27, 2013, at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. The Screen Actors Guild Awards are presented by SAG-AFTRA and honor the best performances in film and television. Tonight’s show broadcast around the world from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.
In his acceptance speech, Dyke commented “This does an old man a lot of good. The Years have been full of a lot of surprises and a lot of fun. I’m still singing and dancing. This very heavy object here means I can refer to you as my peers – I am a happy man.”
Dick Van Dyke is the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to his craft. He can dance, sing, narrate, act and always entertains. Dyke was born in West Plains, Missouri and grew-up in Danville, Illinois. As a young man he found work in radio. And during his World War II, he worked as a radio announcer for the army.
After the war, Dyke was drawn into the world of show business – performing in just about anything for a paycheck. But fame did not strike this young actor until he starred on Broadway in the 1960 musical “Bye-Bye-Birdie.” Dyke won a Tony Award for his work in the musical and was cast in the film version in 1963.
Dyke is notable for family films in the early 1960’s. He starred in “Mary Poppins” in 1964 and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in 1968. He starred in his own sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the show was a hit. It ran from 1961 through 1966 and not only secured Van Dyke as a star, but also made his TV wife Mary Tyler Moore a star as well.
Dyke continued to work in various television series, variety shows and TV movies during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Dyke found a new generation of fans during the stint of his very popular television series “Diagnosis Murder,” which ran from 1993 through 2002.
Along with his Tony Award for “Bye-Bye-Birdie,” Dyke has also earned four Primetime Emmys for his work in television and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Feb. 25, 1993.
Dyke has penned a memoir, entitled “Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” that was released in 2011.
Last year at the 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards, Dyke presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to his “Dick Van Dyke Show” cast mate Mary Tyler Moore.
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-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com