Disney Legend Sadly Doesn’t Remember Famous Role

Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes in Mary Poppins Returns
Credit: Disney

There are few Disney Legends who are as beloved as 98-year-old Dick Van Dyke. The actor, who is as sweet as a spoonful of sugar, has not been in a ton of Disney movies and television shows, but he has left an everlasting mark on Disney fans.

Over the years, Mr. Van Dyke has voiced Captain Goof-Beard, Goofy’s grandfather. He was also the host of Donald Duck’s 50th Birthday (1984) and the Golden Anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1987).

Dick Van Dyke and Donald Duck with a 50th Birthday Cake. Donald's 50th Anniversary celebration

Credit: CBS

Related: Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke Just Called Himself WHAT?!

Of course, Van Dyke is most well-known for his role as Bert the chimney sweep in Disney’s iconic 1964 film, Mary Poppins. He also played the role of bank chairman, Mr. Dawes Sr. In 2018, Disney released the Mary Poppins sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.

In the film, which starred Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda, Van Dyke returned to the big screen, playing Mr. Dawes Jr. Fans were blown away as the then 92-year-old tapped his way through a musical number.

Sadly, Mr. Van Dyke has recently admitted that he does not remember returning for the sequel to his most quintessential film.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mary Poppins

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Star Reportedly “Blowing Through” Fortune In Final Years

Van Dyke recently did an interview with Deadline, where he admitted that his long-term memory is strong, but he struggles to remember the more recent years.

He’ll recall visiting Speakers’ Corner in London while filming Mary Poppins, to “hear all those soapbox orators”, and enquire whether they’re still there. It’s only on some of his more recent projects that his memory fails him. Asked what it was like to revisit the world of Mary Poppins for Mary Poppins Returns, in which he made a cameo riffing on his old man role from the original (the joke being that the senior citizen make-up was no longer required), he says, “I have to be honest, I can’t remember. I really can’t.” He sounds genuinely sorry not to be able to share a story.

Dick Van Dyke Mary Poppins Returns

Credit: Disney

However, Mr. Van Dyke isn’t letting his memory problems slow him down. In fact, he wants to head out on the road and do a one-man show! That’s right. The 98-year-old still has big goals for the time he has left.

But while he continues to look forward, he can’t help but miss those who made such a big impact on his life. Many of his contemporaries have passed away, a fact which was made evident during the special, Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic (2023).

“There is a kind of sadness in [watching 98 Years of Magic],” he says, “because all of the wonderful people that I loved and worked with over the years have gone. I realized I’ve outlived an entire generation… I miss Rose [Marie] and Morey [Amsterdam] and all the wonderful people I worked with over the years. They should have been there.” The loss of Carl Reiner, The Dick Van Dyke Show’s creator and Van Dyke’s dear friend, is the hardest for him to sit with. “I think I learned more from Carl Reiner than anyone else,” he says. “He understood comedy. He understood drama. He had a sense of timing like nobody else. And he was just so sharp and bright and a philosopher on top of it. He was the finest human being I ever knew.”

Credit: Dick Van Dyke Dapper Dans Credit Drew Tablak Facebook

Credit: Drew Tablak Facebook

Although he is 18 months shy of 100, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) star says he has no plan to retire. He recently starred in his first soap opera, Days of Our Lives.

Dick Van Dyke was honored by the Mouse House in 1998 when he was made a Disney Legend. He is currently the oldest living Disney Legend. His fellow Mary Poppins star was the oldest living Disney Legend, but she passed away in January at the age of 100.

What is your favorite Dick Van Dyke role? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.