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Dick Van Dyke turns 79

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Born December 13, 1925 in Missouri, today is Dick Van Dyke‘s 79th. Happy Birthday!

Of course, he’s best known as Rob Petrie, titular star of one of the half dozen consistently best written sitcoms in the history of television. Credit must also be given for his role as Bert the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Then of course, there was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Diagnosis Murder, among other entries in a long career.

One minor bio-fact on him of some interest: As a good church going Christian, he was an elder in his church and taught Sunday school for the children right through the height of his popularity, while the Dick Van Dyke show was in production.

That probably wasn’t that big a deal 40-odd years ago, but could you imagine Raymond or Seinfeld teaching Sunday school? Bernie Mac, maybe.

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  • Voxxy

    Al, it’s 79 years since 1925.

  • Eric Olsen

    damn math majors

  • Jim Carruthers

    What I’ve really appreciated most about the original Dick Van Dyke Show was the recursiveness. It was a comedy about a writer on teevee comedy show. Favourite ep is the one where aliens steal everybody’s thumbs.

    My favourite of his movie roles is his lead in “Cold Turkey“, about a town which tries to win a contest for everyone to give up smoking. And a title song by Randy Newman.

  • Al Barger

    You’re right. I’m already done with this year, and thinking it’s ’05. I’ll revise and extend my remarks.

  • Jim Carruthers

    You’ve started a trend! 79 is the new 80!

    What I’ve just realized is how much of my ideation of what cities and suburbs are come from the Dick Van Dyke Show. And watching the first season DVD set, how great the supporting cast were except for the kid. The most special part of the DVD set is the pilot with Carl Reiner playing Rob Petrie.