DICK VAN DYKE


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Dick Van Dyke was born in tiny West Plains, Missouri in 1925 (his parents were just passing through). West Plains is also where Bruce Hershenson has lived the past 26 years! He started as a stand-up comic, and he briefly had a popular act where he would do silly lip-syching to popular songs (with wacky props). When he found success, he passed that act on to his younger less successful brother Jerry, who stuck with those routines for decades. He won a Tony Award for his stage role in Bye, Bye Birdie in 1960, and was chosen the next year to star in The Dick Van Dyke show, surely one of the best TV series of all time. While the show was on the air, he found time to recreate his part from Bye, Bye Birdie in the movie version of that part, and to co-star in What a Way to Go, The Art of Love, and in Mary Poppins, where he fully held his own opposite Julie Andrews. It seemed there was nothing this superbly talented actor could not do, but he was a major alcoholic, and that illness and his subsequent quitting drinking would greatly drag on his output for many years. He 'retired' many times, but always returned to either movies or TV. In 1993 this ultra-likeable actor returned to TV as Dr. Mark Sloan in Diagnosis Murder, which was basically Matlock but in the world of medicine. He is still making a few movie and TV appearances, and some great YouTube videos, and he is, as of 2019, 93 years old!
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