If there is one actor who brings smiles to the faces of people young and old when they think of him, it’s most likely Dick Van Dyke. The beloved actor has been a Hollywood staple for nearly 70 years. Over those seven decades, he has been in a number of hit films and television shows, including Bye Bye Birdie (1963), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and Diagnosis Murder (1993-2001).
When it comes to Disney, Mr. Van Dyke is a legend — literally. In 1998, Van Dyke was honored with the title of Disney Legend, the same year as his Mary Poppins costar, Glynis Johns (Mrs. Banks). In Mary Poppins (1964), Van Dyke played Bert the chimney sweep, as well as bank owner, Mr. Dawes Sr. 54 years later, he would return as Mr. Dawes Jr. in Mary Poppins Returns.
On December 13, Mr. Van Dyke celebrated his 98th birthday, a true milestone. But when looking back on his storied career, he said something quite surprising. The cherished actor actually called himself lazy. Yes, lazy!
He made the comment during an interview on CBS Sunday Morning.
“I would do a movie or something and come home, and just sit down, wait for the phone to ring. I wasn’t aggressive. So, I was out of work a lot because I didn’t go out and look for it.”
“I didn’t mind it. I’m pretty lazy. When I’m having fun, you know, all right. But I’m a lazy person. I don’t have a lotta drive. I’ve been very lucky.”
Van Dyke may consider himself lucky, but we consider ourselves lucky that he became an incredible part of the lives of so many people.
Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns were not the only times Dick Van Dyke worked with the Disney family. In 2006, he played museum security guard Cecil in Night at the Museum. The 98-year-old actor then returned as Cecil for the 2014 follow-up, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. That same year, he voiced Captain Goof Beard and Grandpappy Goof in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Fans will be able to celebrate Mr. Van Dyke’s birthday with him when a special — Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of Magic — airs on CBS. The special will air live on December 21 on CBS and Paramount+ from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. It will also be available to stream the next day on Paramount+.
What is your favorite Dick Van Dyke role? Let us know in the comments!