Dick Van Dyke Reflects on Making New Friends as He Celebrates 98th Birthday


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The legendary Hollywood star Dick Van Dyke is turning 98 today. CBS recently taped a birthday special for Van Dyke titled “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic.” The two-hour special features both archival footage and live performances from some of the best moments of Van Dyke’s iconic career that spans 75 years. While Van Dyke enjoyed filming this special immensely, there was one aspect of it that left him feeling a bit sad, however. “I had a bunch of friends there to say nice things, but Mary Tyler Moore, Morey [Amsterdam] and Rosie [Rose Marie], Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, all the people that I always loved and associated with are gone, so I’m having to make new friends,” Van Dyke told People Magazine. Thankfully, this isn’t very hard for someone like Van Dyke. The most recent person in that group of legendary stars to pass away was Lear, who died last week at the age of 101.

Despite all of this, Van Dyke still loved filming his birthday special, describing it as a surreal experience. As for how Van Dyke will be celebrating his actual birthday today, he plans to keep things low-key by spending time at his Southern California home with his wife Arlene Silver, 52, and several of his grandchildren.

Silver is Van Dyke’s second wife, as he was previously married to Margie Willett from 1948 until they divorced in 1984. After his divorce, he was in a relationship with the actress Michelle Triola for over thirty years before she passed away in 2009. Van Dyke met Silver at the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards, when he was 81 and she was 35.

Van Dyke is a true living legend, and there will never be another one like him. If you’d like to celebrate his birthday with him, be sure to tune in to “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic” when it airs on Thursday, December 21 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS!