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Dick Van Dyke Biography
Richard Wayne Van Dyke (b. September 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri), usually credited as Dick Van Dyke, is a noted American television and movie actor. He is most famous for his starring roles on The Dick Van Dyke Show (with Mary Tyler Moore) in the 1960s and Diagnosis: Murder in the 1990s.

Van Dyke's first major role was on stage in Bye Bye, Birdie in 1960, for which he won a Tony Award. He then starred in his own sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran for five seasons -- in the lead role of Rob Petrie, Van Dyke won three Emmy Awards. He slowly transitioned out of television into movie acting in Bye Bye, Birdie (1963), What a Way to Go! (1964) and, most notably, Walt Disney's Mary Poppins (1964), in which he played Bert, a Cockney chimney sweep, and also played, in heavy disguise, the elderly owner of the bank. Van Dyke's attempt at a Cockney accent was widely ridiculed (especially in the UK), but the film also showed his versatility as a singer and dancer.

After the mid-1960s, Van Dyke was in a number of relatively unsuccessful movies (though one, a children's film called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is still well-known, especially with the recent stage musical). In 1974, however Van Dyke surprised everyone by appearing in his first dramatic role, as an alcoholic businessman in The Morning After. Van Dyke received wide acclaim and an Emmy nomination. This film is regarded by many as the best most realistic television film ever made dealing with alcoholism. It is even shown at treatment centers. For those who have seen this film, the final scene is just chilling and unforgettable. It was at this time that Van Dyke admitted he had recently overcome a real-life drinking problem.

His career seemed essentially over by 1990 when Van Dyke, whose usual role had been the amiable hero, took a villainous turn in Dick Tracy. He received positive reviews that led him to star in a series of TV movies on CBS that became the foundation for his popular television drama, Diagnosis: Murder, which ran from 1993 to 2001.

Dick Van Dyke is the brother of actor Jerry Van Dyke. Dick's son Barry Van Dyke and grandson Carry Van Dyke are also actors: both Barry and Carry acted with Dick on Diagnosis: Murder.

Van Dyke received a Grammy Award for his performance on the soundtrack to Mary Poppins.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Dick Van Dyke.