Pop Culture

10 Things Dick Van Dyke Doesn't Even Know About Himself

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Now over 90 years old, Dick Van Dyke has been a cultural icon for decades. He still hasn't retired but the longtime Hollywood standout has definitely slowed down in recent years. Long gone are the days of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Mary Poppins, so let's take a look back at some things you would have never known about this legend.

1. He was a ridiculously tall child.

He was already over six feet tall before he turned 12. He wrote about being 6'1" by the time he was 11 in his book, Those Funny Kids: A Treasury of Classroom Laughter.


2. He didn't know how old he was until he was an adult.

Another revelation from his second book, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, was that his parents lied to him about his age until he was 18. They did this to hide the fact that he was born outside of wedlock.


3. He didn't get his high school diploma until the early 2000s.

Van Dyke didn't receive his high school diploma with the rest of his classmates because he left school early in order to join the army. He did get his diploma in 2004 when he returned to his old high school to see their production of Bye Bye Birdie.

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4. His first wedding was broadcast on public radio.

When Van Dyke married his first wife, Margie Willett, they allowed their wedding to be broadcast as part of the Bride and Groom show. The show paid for the couple's rings, honeymoon and household appliances. Van Dyke said that they were so poor at some points that they had to live in their car for a while.

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5. He was virtually unknown before The Dick Van Dyke Show.

When the producers of the show were putting it together, they wanted to have an "All-American" guy as the lead cast member. Van Dyke was working on Broadway in a production of Bye Bye Birdie when he finally got the spot. He took a week off to shoot the premiere.

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