Dick Van Dyke, a Hollywood legend who turned 98 earlier this month, has had an incredibly successful Hollywood career that has spanned over seven decades. That’s why it came as a massive shock to many when Van Dyke revealed in a recent interview that he sees himself as a “lazy person” who never aggressively pursued a career in Hollywood.
In the interview with CBS news correspondent Tracy Smith, Van Dyke was asked if he ever planned his Hollywood career. Van Dyke replied, “No. I never did. As a businessman, I’m not much good. I would do a movie or something and come home and just sit down and wait for the phone to ring.”
Van Dyke admitted that he wasn’t aggressive in pursuing his career, which meant that he was out of work a lot. “I wasn’t aggressive. So I was out of work a lot because I didn’t go out and look for it,” he said with a smile. “And how did that sit with you?” Smith asked, to which Van Dyke replied with a laugh, “Well, I didn’t mind it. I’m pretty lazy really. When I’m having fun, you know, all right. But I’m a lazy person.”
“I lack a lot of drive, I’ve been very lucky,” Van Dyke continued, to which Smith could only say, “Wow.”
Van Dyke revealed that his “whole career has depended on” having fun. “If I’m not enjoying myself, I’m really bad,” he confessed. “It’s such a blessing to find a way of making a living that you love, that you’d do for nothing. I feel so sorry for people who hate their jobs. I look forward to going to work every morning.”
Even after so many years in show business, Van Dyke is still feeling the love from fans of all ages. “I’m on my third generation. I’m getting letters from little kids. And that’s what I love,” the Mary Poppins star said. “They watch the movies over and over. I’m getting so much more mail today than I did during the heyday of my career.”
A television special called “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic” also aired last week that honored Van Dyke on his 98th birthday. After filming the special, Van Dyke felt touched by the chance to look back at his career. “You think, ‘I don’t deserve this,’ but it’s difficult to say how I felt,” he told People Magazine. “I came home, and I said, ‘You know something? It’s going to be a couple of days before this actually sinks in that it happened.”
“I never expected that kind of recognition,” he added. “My whole life went before me. I didn’t realize I had done so many things while I was 75 years in show business.”
Dick Van Dyke is a true living legend, and there will never be another one like him. Despite his own view of being a “lazy person,” it’s clear that Van Dyke has had a massively successful and impactful career in Hollywood that has brought joy to fans of all ages.
The actor’s honesty and humility are refreshing, especially in an industry filled with egos and showmanship. It’s clear that Van Dyke’s authenticity and talent have touched the lives of many, and we can only hope to see more of him and his work in the years to come. Happy 98th birthday, Dick Van Dyke, and thank you for all the timeless magic you’ve brought us throughout your legendary career.