Richard Wayne "Dick" Van Dyke is an American comedian, actor, writer and producer who has worked on stage, screen and television.
Born December 13, 1925 in West Plains, Missouri, he grew up in Danville, Illinois. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps during World War II and was made a radio announcer; he continued working in radio after the war, as well as in nightclubs and on television. He made his Broadway debut in 1959, soon landing the role of Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie (for which he won a Tony). This role in turn landed him in Hollywood when a film adaptation of the play was made. The remainder of his career has been in movies and television.
His career provides examples of:
- Acting for Two: In Mary Poppins.
- The Eponymous Show
- Harpo Does Something Funny: Writers on The Dick Van Dyke Show would occasionally leave space for him to fill in as he saw fit.
- Inherently Funny Words: Many jokes have been made about his name.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Infamously as Bert in Mary Poppins. Averted as Mr. Dawes, Sr. in the same movie.
- The Pratfall: One example can be seen in the opening of The Dick Van Dyke Show.
- Scunthorpe Problem: His name may give rise to this.
- Slapstick: Many of his comedy routines.
- World War II: He was in it.