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DICK VAN DYKE (Cecil Fredricks), in 1955, hosted "The CBS Morning Show” in New York, with Walter Cronkite as news anchor and Barbara Walters as news copywriter. Concurrently, he was auditioning for Broadway shows and eventually landed a spot in a revue called "The Boys Against the Girls.” Director and choreographer Gower Champion caught the show and signed to Van Dyke to star with Chita Rivera in "Bye Bye Birdie” in which he introduced "Put on a Happy Face” in a 1960 Tony®-winning performance. "Bye Bye Birdie” was in its second season when Carl Reiner and Sheldon Leonard chose Van Dyke to star in a comedy series that became "The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Premiering in 1961, it ran for five seasons and earned Van Dyke three Emmy Awards.

During hiatus periods, he starred in the film version of Bye Bye Birdie [1963], and the Disney classic Mary Poppins [1964]. Other features included Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN [1966], Divorce American Style [1967], Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang [1968], The Comic [1969], Some Kind of a Nut [1969], Cold Turkey [1971] and The Runner Stumbles [1978].

After a year in England filming the family classic Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang, the Van Dykes moved to their ranch in Carefree, Arizona where "The New Dick Van Dyke Show” was produced for three seasons. His next project was the dramatic television movie, "The Morning After,” adapted from the Jack Weiner novel about a talented and successful family man whose life is destroyed by his alcoholism. The theme broke new ground for television dramas and earned him an Emmy nomination.

Then it was back to song, dance and comedy in "Van Dyke and Company,” thirteen variety specials on NBC. After that Van Dyke returned to the theater for a revival of "The Music Man,” touring before taking it to Broadway. The following year he toured in "Damn Yankees.”

Dick won his fifth Emmy for the 1982 CBS Library Special "Wrong Way Kid.” Other TV movies include, "Drop-Out Father,” "Found Money,” The PBS Special "Breakfast with Les and Bess,” the mini series "Strong Medicine” and a Showtime production of "The Country Girl.”

His awards and honors include the Dance Legend of the Year Award from the Professional Dancers Society of America; the 1998 Disney Legend Award; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Comedy Awards; and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1995 he was inducted into the Television Academy Walk of Fame.

Mark Sloane, the crime solving MD, was introduced in an episode of "Jake and the Fat Man” before becoming the central character in several TV movies and the series ”Diagnosis Murder,” which ran on CBS for eight seasons through the 1990s until 2001, followed by two Dr. Sloane movies in 2002.

In 2003, Van Dyke reunited with Mary Tyler Moore to play two lonely retirees in D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "The Gin Game,” on PBS Hollywood Theater. The following year they were together again as Rob and Laura Petrie in "Dick Van Dyke Revisited.”

Threatening to retire for the last twenty years, Van Dyke returned to Broadway in January 2006 to sing and dance in four performances of "Chita Rivera: A Dancers Life,” receiving standing ovations after each number. His Hallmark movie, "Murder 101,” part of a franchise series, also aired in 2006.

Van Dyke serves as fund-raising chairman for the 100-year-old Midnight Mission in Los Angeles and was recently awarded the Golden Heart Award for his charitable service and giving.


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