Dick Van Dyke is one of the most prolific entertainers to have existed. His career which has lasted for more than seventy years has seen him work in comedy, acting, writings, singing, and dancing. His career started when he was 22 years old and now that he is in his early 90s, it does not seem like he is slowing down any soon. Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Bye Bye Birdie are some of Dick Van Dyke’s most popular early works; films he starred in when his career was just starting out. However, he has kept the flame of his acting career burning, and even in his old age, the thespian still continues to feature in movies.
Dick Van Dyke’s Most Recent Works
There were signs that a big change was coming in Dick Van Dyke’s career when he decided to play a type of character he had never portrayed in his career – a villian. He did this in the 1990 film Dick Tracy, where he had a small role as the movie’s villain, D.A Fletcher. After playing D.A Fletcher, he decided to take a break from acting for fifteen years and only returned to the big screen in 2006. Since 2006, the actor has not been in a lot of movies, however, here are some of the movies he has appeared in since he made his return.
Merry Xmas (2015)
In 2015, when he was 90, Dick Van Dyke was in the short 7-minute film Merry Xmas, where he played a father who makes his kids come home by falsely telling them he and their mother are getting a divorce. The film premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Although the film did not get critical acclaim, it was recognized on various platforms and also won an award that year. The movie won Best Pilot’ at the 2015 New Media Film Festival Award and was also one of the top-ten watched films at Christmas that year.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
At the age of 93, the 2018 Mary Poppins reboot saw him in a cameo appearance as Mr. Dawes Jr. The musical fantasy film is a sequel to the 1968 film Mary Poppins where he starred as Bert and Mr. Dawes, Sr. The film saw Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), the eccentric nanny, return to the maladjusted family of Jane and Michael Banks after the death of the family’s matriarch.
The film received critical acclaim and did tremendously well with several award nominations and recognitions to its name. Van Dyke has also established himself as a voice actor and in 2016, he voiced the character of Yusop in the film, Trolland. Then in 2017 and 2018, consecutively he voiced the documentaries If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast and The Great Buster: A Celebration.
His Career Began on Radio and Progressed to Broadway
Dick Van Dyke is often called an all-round entertainer, and rightfully so. His career began in 1947 and he has been able to use his years in entertainment expeditiously. Van Dyke’s career began with him being a radio DJ. Then in 1947, a pantomime performer, Phil Erickson urged Van Dyke to create a comedy duo called the Merry Mutes. This kicked off the successful career that Dick Van Dyke had in entertainment.
From being in a comedic duo, he went on to launch a Broadway career where he was Albert Peterson in the 1959 play, The Girls Against the Boys. For an actor who could not dance he was able to snag the lead role in the film and went on to win the 1969 Tony award for Best Featured Actor.
From Broadway to A Successful Career Journey in TV
Dick Van Dyke has built an impressive portfolio of television shows. From broadway, he proceeded to a blazing start in television, where he excelled as he had done in the past. Van Dyke worked as an emcee, a comedian, and as the host of a number of talk shows. For five years between 1961 and 1966, he was the lead character on The Dick Van Dyke Show, playing Rob Petrie, a comedy writer. When he started to work in films in 1963, his film debut was in the 1963 Bye Bye Birdie. As he started to build his portfolio in films the attention he was paying to his television career began to dwindle. The Comic, Cold Turkey, Curious George, Never a Dull Moment are some of his other films.
He Also Dabbled Into Music
The bulk of the work that Dick Van Dyke has done in his career is in television but he still found time to invest in his musical career. He was on the two Bye Bye Birdie albums and the Mary Poppins soundtrack which earned him a Grammy award. Van Dyke is part of the acapella group Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix.
The group has performed together since 2000. He was also on Rhythm Train with Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, the two made an album for children together. His most recent misc release was in 2017 when he made a Christmas duet with Jane Lynch.
Van Dyke’s First Marriage Ended As A Result of His Infidelity
The first woman that Dick Van Dyke was married to was Margie Willet; unlike him, she did not work in entertainment. They got married in 1948 in Los Angeles but started to grow apart when she moved to their ranch house. It was during this period that the actor began an affair with another woman called Michelle Triola. It would be years before Van Dyke would confess about the relationship to his wife. In 1984, the couple finalized their divorce.
He Went on to Have A 30-Year Romantic Partnership With Michelle Triola Marvin
After the divorce from his wife, Dick Van Dyke continued his relationship with the American actress, Michelle Triola Marvin. She is popularly known for attempting and failing to sue Lee Marvin for financial compensation after their relationship ended. It was while she was embroiled in this suit that Van Dyke met her. The two lived together and remained partners for over 30 years until she died in 2009.
His Second Marriage is To A Woman Half His Age
The actor’s next relationship was with Arlene Silver, a make-up artist who is half his age. Silver who was born in 1971 appears to be satisfied with her marriage to Van Dyke, who was born in 1925. They had met at the SAG awards of 2006 when he was still in a relationship with Marvin.
It is not known when they actually started to date but in 2012 both of them got married. The two are still together despite their age difference which has kept their marriage in the public eye since its inception. They have no kids together.
Meet Dick Van Dyke’s Children
Dick Van Dyke has only four children who have in turn given him seven grandchildren. His four children are from his first marriage and they are Christain, Barry, Stacy, and Carrie.
Barry Van Dyke
- Gender – Male
- Date of Birth – July 31, 1951
- Occupation – Actor
Dyke’s son Barry, has been the most successful amongst his children. Over the years he has found ways to include his offsprings including his grandchildren into his work. He has achieved especially with his son Barry who has often worked closely with him in various works including Diagnosis: Murder. He is married to Mary Carey and is a father to four children – Carey, Shane, Wes, and Taryn.
Christian Van Dyke
- Gender – Male
- Date of Birth – unknown
- Occupation – Actor
He is also an actor and has starred in the Dick Van Dyke Show. His date of birth is not known but he is older than Barry, the most famous of them all. He is married to Caroline A. Heller and together they have a child.
Stacy Van Dyke
- Gender – Female
- Occupation – Actress
Stacy is also an actress. Like her siblings, she also starred in Diagnosis: Murder, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and Diagnosis Murder: Town Without Pity. Although she has appeared in these productions, Stacy is mostly popular for being the daughter of the famous actor, Dick Van Dyke.
Carrie Beth Van Dyke
- Gender – Female
- Occupation – Actress
Carrie is an actress and starred in The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1973) alongside her siblings. She got married to Kevin McNally in May 1983 and the two have been together since then. They have two children together.