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Dick’s tenth decade has proven as busy and as fulfilling as one would expect from a legend who attributes his longevity to staying physically active and spiritually young.
On December 13, 2015, Dick celebrated his 90th birthday as the jolly holiday it was. The previous day, he was greeted with a flash mob at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles. Around 50 dancers in costume performed selections from Mary Poppins. Dick later joined them in a rendition of “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”
On December 14, Dick enjoyed a numerous festivities at Disneyland, including a parade, the dedication of a silhouette of Bert at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, a performance by the Vantastix, and fans singing “Happy Birthday” while Dick and Arlene looked on from a balcony of the Dream Suite in New Orleans Square.
Dick published a book entitled, appropriately, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging, an engaging collection of reminiscences and advice for living fully...at any age.
On June 23, 2016, Dick returned to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. The purpose
of the brief trip was two-
Dick arrived in a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and was greeted by the Danville High School show choir. A musical tribute at DHS and a reception were held, raising approximately $50,000 for the foundation and the house where Dick lived in the 1930s. It had been 12 years since he last visited Danville.
Restoration on the house is slated to begin in mid-
Dick was honored with the inaugural “America’s Clown Award” at the 2017 Red Skelton Festival in Vincennes, Indiana, the hometown of Skelton. Dick will provide a video acceptance speech. Anne Pratt, executive director of the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy, says Dick’s “comedic body of work and the joy he has brought to so many over the years” embodies Skelton’s spirit.
Fans young and old agree, Dick still has the moves. One can’t help but smile when witnessing his zest for life. Each and every day is a jolly holiday with Dick Van Dyke.
Dick is also featured in the HBO documentary If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast, hosted by Carl Reiner, the title actually inspired by Reiner’s motto for getting up and getting on with life.
Other featured nonagenarians include Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, Kirk Douglas, Norman Lear, Stan Lee, and Betty White. Reiner describes Dick as “the most agile human being I’ve ever seen in my life.” That legendary agility is on display in the music video “Never Had to Go” by The Dustbowl Revival.