Just before Christmas, classic TV fans will be treated to a special called Dick Van Dyke 98 Years Of Magic, which looks back at the screen legend’s storied career.
The program will hit the airwaves on December 21, just a week and a day after Dick will celebrate his 98th birthday, according to Deadline.
Fans can tune into the special on CBS, the same network that hosted his beloved sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s.
In fact, the old set of The Dick Van Dyke Show is being revived for the anniversary special, a varied extravaganza with singing, dancing and special guests.
“I started at CBS under contract in 1955 with the CBS morning show, then The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis Murder,” Dick said in a statement. “I’ve been with the CBS family for almost 70 years and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Feted: Just before Christmas, classic TV fans are treated to a special called Dick Van Dyke 98 Years Of Magic; He is pictured receiving his Kennedy Center Honor in 2021
Duo: Fans can tune into the special on CBS, the same network that hosted his beloved sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, on which he is pictured with Rose Marie
He added, “I am incredibly honored that CBS is hosting a 98th birthday special for me. I can’t wait to be part of the show!’
The special will also feature vintage footage, depicting some of the highlights of his versatile career on stage, film and television.
Dick began his career as an actor during World War II, dropping out of high school to join the US Army Air Corps and eventually gaining military work as a radio announcer and entertainer for the troops.
In the 1950s he worked as a nightclub performer and moved to television. He eventually began his career at CBS in 1955, when he was hired to replace none other than Jack Paar as host of The Morning Show.
However, it was on Broadway that he first became a big name as the lead actor in the 1960 hit musical Bye Bye Birdie.
With music by Charles Strouse, later of Annie fame, Bye Bye Birdie satirized the frenzy of Elvis Presley fans and earned Dick a Tony Award.
His performance on stage also caught the attention of Carl Reiner, who brought him to Hollywood, where The Dick Van Dyke Show began.
An instant classic, The Dick Van Dyke Show ran from 1961 to 1966 and made its namesake a national star – as well as its leading lady Mary Tyler Moore.
Home Network: He began his career at CBS in 1955, when he was asked to replace none other than Jack Paar as host of The Morning Show, on which Dick is depicted
Throwback: Dick first became a star in 1960 with the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie, portraying him in the film adaptation alongside Psycho star Janet Leigh
Chimney: Dick’s Hollywood career soared in the 1960s, landing him in movie musicals like Mary Poppins, in which he is depicted opposite the Oscar-winning lead role Julie Andrews
Remember when: During a glorious 1960s that saw him star in his sitcom and his most beloved films, he also starred in the classic Hollywood musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (pictured)
Laurels: In recent years he has been showered with trinkets for lifetime achievements, including a Kennedy Center Honor (photo)
Dick’s Hollywood career took off in the 1960s, landing him in film musicals such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the film adaptation of Bye Bye Birdie.
In the 1970s he took on more dramatic roles, playing alcoholics in The Comic and The Morning After and then confessing that he had gone on the wagon in real life.
He became a regular on The Carol Burnett Show and alternated between guest roles on the best TV shows of the 1970s and 1980s, from Columbo to The Golden Girls.
Dick and his son Barry Van Dyke next starred together in Diagnosis: Murder, a hit crime comedy that ran for eight seasons from 1993 to 2001.
A classic showbiz trouper, he continued to work into his 70s and 80s, including in the 2018 film Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In recent years, he has been showered with trinkets of lifetime achievement, including a Kennedy Center Honor and designation as a Disney Legend.
But despite plenty of laurels to rest on, he has stayed in the game, appearing on The Masked Singer and Days Of Our Lives this year.
“I don’t think I’ll ever retire,” he told Al Roker on the Today show around the time of his Kennedy Center Honor, adding dryly, “unless they make me.”