Inductee Biography for DICK VAN DYKE
Dick Van Dyke was born in 1925 in West Plains, Missouri. He started his career as a radio announcer and soon migrated west and joined a team of entertainers, performing as a comedian on the nightclub circuit. His first network television appearance was on “The Phil Silvers Show” in 1957.
By 1961 he was starring alongside Mary Tyler Moore and a talented cast on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” where he portrayed a comedy writer for fictitious late-night TV host Alan Brady (played by the show’s producer, Carl Reiner). The show received four Emmy Awards for outstanding comedy series. “The Dick Van Dyke Show” continues to inspire situation comedies today and is still widely seen in reruns around the world. A very successful film career followed with Dick starring in the blockbuster hits “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Mary Poppins,” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” He collaborated again with Carl Reiner in the critically acclaimed 1969 comedy-drama “The Comic,” a period piece set in the silent film era.
In the early 1970s, Dick was planning to relocate to Cave Creek. CBS Television badly wanted him to return to their weekly lineup, so they constructed Southwestern Studios in Carefree so he and his family could live nearby while he starred in a new weekly series called “The New Dick Van Dyke Show.” He played a local TV talk show host and the show enjoyed a three-year run. In Arizona he also made investments in local media and for many years was part-owner of KXIV Radio in Phoenix.
Dick appeared in many other TV movies and theatrical films throughout the years including another longrunning TV series, “Diagnosis: Murder,” where he played crimefighting physician Dr. Mark Sloan. It co-starred his son, Barry Van Dyke, and aired from 1993 to 2001. The majority of his roles have been as good guys, but in 2006, he played against type as a villain in the Disney film “Night At The Museum” featuring Ben Stiller.
Since 2000, he has been singing with Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix, a barbershop harmony group that performs at entertainment and sporting events, including nationally televised performances of the national anthem. Dick Van Dyke is a beloved performer to generations of TV and movie viewers with a unique Arizona connection.