Dick Van Dyke Turns 97 Today—Here's How He Looks and What He's Up to Now
You can still catch the legendary actor showing off his dance moves, three years from the big 100.
Dec. 13 is a celebratory occasion for Dick Van Dyke—the iconic star turns 97 today. The dancer and actor, who is known for movies including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins, his series The Dick Van Dyke Show, and the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie, has been open over the years about aging, staying active, and his determination to make it to 100. So, in honor of his birthday—three years away from his centenary!—we're taking a look at his life today and everything that he's up to. Read on to find out more about the legendary performer's life at 97 years young.
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He hasn't retired.
Van Dyke might be far beyond the age when most people retire, but he's still been working. In 2018, he made a cameo in Mary Poppins Returns, a long-awaited sequel to the 1964 original. In that Disney musical, he played the chimneysweep Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. opposite star Julie Andrews. In the new movie, he appeared as Mr. Dawes Jr. alongside Emily Blunt, who took over the lead role. Van Dyke even danced on a table during his big scene.
"I thought, 'Well, this is handy. I've grown into the part. I won't need any make-up!'" Van Dyke said in a press kit interview, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. "And they put mustaches and wigs and muttonchops and everything, and I said, 'You guys realize you're making up a 90-year-old to look like a 90-year-old? He actually, for me, looked too good. Mr. Dawes in the first one was kind of scruffy. This guy was pretty well-turned-out!"
In addition to Mary Poppins Returns, Van Dyke was recently in 2018's Buttons: A Christmas Film and two episodes of the show Kidding. He also appeared in the documentary, The 90s Club.
He stays active.
Van Dyke is passionate about exercise. During an appearance on CBS This Morning in June 2021, he showed off his workout routine, which includes crunches. "I'm 95, and a lot of my friends won't do these," he explained. And he appealed to the audience watching at home, saying, "So all you all guys out there, listen to me, I'm telling you, you can keep going. I'm still dancing and singing."
In August of the same year, he posted a video on Instagram of himself working out on a stationary bike and talking about the pandemic. "Hi, I'm what's left of Dick Van Dyke," he joked at the beginning of the clip.
Van Dyke shared in his CBS This Morning interview that he plans to make it to 100 years old. "I'm looking forward to 100," he said. "George Burns made it, and I'm gonna do it too."
Since 2012, Van Dyke has been married to his second wife, Arlene Silver, a makeup artist. Earlier this year, they released a music video together. Silver performs "Everybody Loves a Lover" with Arlene & the Vantastix, and she and Van Dyke also duet part of the song and dance.
Van Dyke has four children with his first wife, Margie Willett, and is now a grandfather and great-grandfather.
He recently received a major honor.
In 2021, Van Dyke was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor, and his life's work was celebrated during the annual event.
"There was some great, great dancing tonight," Van Dyke said of the tributes. "They were doing dance numbers I couldn't have done … Blew me away. All those numbers reminded me of how much fun I had over the years. I wasn't working for a living, they were paying me to play. Everything I did, I just enjoyed it."
He hasn't stopped dancing.
Fans can still catch Van Dyke moving his feet on his Instagram account. In June 2021, he danced to Beck's "Loser." "Mister likes dancing to the beats of @beck in his new overalls from @urbanoutfitters," his wife wrote in the caption.
The actor wanted to be challenged by his Mary Poppins Returns dance, as well. He was given three versions of the choreography to choose from and "took the hardest one."
"I said I want that one," Van Dyke told CBS This Morning. "I just had to prove I could do it."