Dick Van Dyke was a big part of my childhood; he delighted me as cheerful chimney sweep/sidewalk artist Bert in “Mary Poppins” (and inspired an early love of making art) and made me laugh as Caractacus Potts in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, and I know I’m not the only one. In fact, his body of work is so impressive, the 86-year old will earn the lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in January.
Of course, Van Dyke’s career hasn’t been limited to film. He starred in two incarnations of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, as well as made appearances on “The Carol Burnett Show” and just about every ’80s series you can think of (including “The Golden Girls”, which seals him into the title of coolest guy ever in my book). And this isn’t his first lifetime achievement award; he received one in 1994 from the American Comedy Awards. He’s also the proud owner of five Emmys.
So what makes this guy so awesome, you ask? Well, perhaps you had to be there when his career was young to fully appreciate his genius, but those of us who remember him from our childhoods will forever hold him in high esteem. Here are a few of the reasons his career has stood the test of time.