Dick Van Dyke Appears at Star-Studded 98th Birthday Special to Reflect on Tremendous Career

Dick Van Dyke rang in his 98th birthday celebration with a moving two-hour tribute, Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic, on CBS. The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor made a special appearance during the event on Thursday, December 21, to reflect on his 75 years in show business.

Jason Alexander, Julie Andrews, Judd Apatow, Martin Short, Mark Hamill, William Shatner and more superstars were among the roster of celebrities who appeared throughout the night. Dick and Julie, 88, will never forget the memories made while starring together in 1968’s Mary Poppins.

“As I told Julie, ‘If I’m not enjoying myself, I stink. If I’m having fun, I’m pretty good,’” he told Closer in March of sharing the screen in the Disney musical with the beloved actress. “We just enjoyed ourselves.”

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Ahead of the star-studded tribute, Dick, who rang in his birthday on December 13, reflected on his tremendous career and excitement for the big night.

“I started with CBS under contract in 1955 with the CBS morning show, then The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis Murder,” he said. “I’ve been with the CBS family for almost 70 years, and I couldn’t be prouder. I’m incredibly honored that CBS will be throwing a 98th birthday special for me. Can’t wait to be part of the show!”

Dick Van Dyke at his CBS birthday special

The Television Hall of Fame inductee also revealed that aging has taught him to make every moment count.

“I realize I don’t have a future, which makes me much more eager to live in the present,” he told Closer just days before the celebration.

Dick continues to defy aging with his energetic personality, which he showcased when he competed on The Masked Singer earlier this year. He also has his supportive wife, Arlene Silver, to thank for keeping him up and performing after more than seven decades in the spotlight.

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“I learned all the music he knows so I can keep him singing,” she told People in February of performing duets around the house with her husband. “Every show tune, every standard. I know all of them now, and I didn’t know any of them before.”

As for what’s next for him, the Golden Globe winner is up for anything, especially since he never expected his career to take off as much as it did.

“I’m old enough to do King Lear, so I might take a shot at Shakespeare,” he said. “Emotionally, I’m about 13. I didn’t know I was going to be as lucky as I have been. I just hoped to make a living.”

Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic airs on Thursday, December 21, at 9 p.m. EST on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+.

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