Dick Van Dyke has definitely still got it. One year after taking the stage at the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards to sing the praises of his former TV wife Mary Tyler Moore, the 87-year-old actor again graced the show with his presence. But this time, he was the guest of honor.
On Sunday, Jan. 27, Van Dyke received a lifetime achievement award — and a standing ovation from his peers — at the 19th annual SAG Awards in L.A. But before walking up to accept his trophy from presenter Alec Baldwin, the legendary star stood and kissed his 41-year-old wife, Arlene Silver.
The SAG Awards are a special event for the spouses of one year, who met at the show seven years ago. “[It was] the first time I ever hit on a woman in my life!” the entertainer told CNN on the red carpet at the Shrine Auditorium before Sunday’s ceremony. “I walked up to her and said, ‘Hi, I’m Dick.’ I don’t think she knew who I was!”
She might have been the only one. Van Dyke, best known for the 1960s sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, his role as Bert in Disney’s Mary Poppins, and his ’90s TV show Diagnosis: Murder, has been in showbiz for seven decades — and he’s not done yet. “They tell me you never work again after you receive this award,” he joked on the red carpet of his lifetime achievement honor. “I’ll have to let them know I’m available.”
Judging by the applause he got at Sunday’s ceremony, however, a reminder isn’t necessary. “That does an old man a lot of good,” the actor said of the cheers from the audience. Then, reminiscing about his career in Hollywood, he joked, “I’ve knocked around in this business for 70 years and I still haven’t quite figured out exactly what it is I do.” He added, however, that those years had been “full of surprises and a lot of fun.”
“Aren’t we lucky to have found a line of work that doesn’t require growing up? I love that,” he gushed, addressing his fellow actors, whom he called “the greatest generation of actors in the history of acting.”
“You’ve all lifted the art to another place now,” the star said. “Besides that, you’re everywhere. You’re in Darfur, Somalia, Haiti. You’re all over the place trying to do what’s right. This very heavy object here means that I can refer to you as my peers. I’m a happy man.”
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