Skip to content

Dick Van Dyke Shares His Secrets to Feeling Young at 97

Find out how the actor and dancer stays active and healthy at nearly 100 years old.

At 97 years old, Dick Van Dyke is still performing and living life to the fullest. His most recent gig was on the competition series The Masked Singer on which he belted out "When You're Smiling" by Billie Holiday while in a giant gnome costume just last week. So, how does he stay feeling so youthful? The actor and dancer revealed his secrets to a long, full, and healthy life in a new interview. One secret is something out of his control, another has to do with his personal life, and one is something that you may be able to do yourself today. Read on to see what advice the legendary performer shared.

READ THIS NEXT: Suzanne Somers Says Hormone Therapy Is the Secret to "Staying Ageless," But Not All Doctors Agree.

Van Dyke is far from retired.

After starring in Mary Poppins, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Bye Bye Birdie, Van Dyke could have retired decades ago and still been an entertainment icon. But, he's kept working into his 90s.

In 2018, he appeared in Mary Poppins Returns, making not just a cameo but dancing a musical number. In 2020, he had a voice role in the TV show Kidding. And, earlier this month, he was a contestant on The Masked Singer. When it was revealed that Van Dyke was the celebrity in the gnome costume, the judges were shocked.

"I knew that they couldn't guess who I was. I don't think they expected anybody from my generation to be on that show," Van Dyke told Entertainment Weekly. "So I knew I was gonna fool them. They were so surprised. I stepped out and everybody's mouths dropped open. I think some people thought I was dead."

He shared his secrets for feeling young.

Dick Van Dyke in 2017

Clearly, continuing to work and try new things is one way Van Dyke stays youthful, but in a new interview with Yahoo!, he shared his other secrets.

"Genes, I guess, for one thing," the actor explained. "Having a beautiful young wife half my age to take care of me— that works! My positive attitude, I get that from my wife. And one other thing is, I wrote a book called Keep Moving: I still go to the gym three days a week and work out. And I advise everybody to do that, because that's what ages people—it's just a stiffening up and not exercising their muscles and their lungs. Exercise is the answer."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Van Dyke has been married to his wife for 11 years.

Arlene Silver and Dick Van Dyke at the 2021 Kennedy Center Honors
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Van Dyke married Arlene Silver, his second wife, in 2012. Silver, 51, is a makeup artist and a singer. In 2022, the couple released a music video together of her performing the Doris Day song "Everybody Loves a Lover" with Arlene & the Vantastix. Silver and Van Dyke also duet on part of the song and dance together.

Van Dyke was previously married to Margie Willett from 1948 to 1984. The former couple welcomed four children together.

He's serious about working out.

As Van Dyke mentioned to Yahoo!, he published a book in 2015 titled Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging. The star has been very vocal about the importance of exercise. In 2021, he appeared on CBS This Morning and showed off his workout routine, which includes crunches.

"I'm 95, and a lot of my friends won't do these," he said of the exercise move. "So all you all guys out there, listen to me, I'm telling you, you can keep going. I'm still dancing and singing."

Also in 2021, he shared a video on Instagram of himself working out on an exercise bike. "Hi, I'm what's left of Dick Van Dyke," he joked in the clip while pedaling away.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under