Dick Van Dyke calls himself ‘lazy’ looking back on legendary movie and TV career

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The ‘Mary Poppins’ star turned 98 on Dec 13.

Dick Van Dyke doesn’t consider himself a hard worker, despite over seven decades in the entertainment industry.

In a new interview on "CBS Sunday Morning," aired shortly after his 98th birthday on December 13, Van Dyke said, "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. I wasn’t aggressive, so I was out of work a lot because I didn’t go out and look for it."

He continued, admitting, "I didn’t mind it. I’m pretty lazy, really. When I’m having fun, all right, but I’m a lazy person. I don’t have a lot of drive. I’ve been very lucky."

The 98-year-old is truly being modest about his career, from his start on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," to beloved classics like "Mary Poppins" and "Bye Bye Birdie," to later work including "Diagnosis: Murder," and "Night at the Museum."

Van Dyke is being honored on CBS on Dec 21 with a two-hour tribute special, titled "Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of Magic."

During the interview, the multi-talented star emphasized the importance of fun as a secret for long-term success.

"That’s my whole career has depended on that. If I’m not enjoying myself, I’m really bad. I am," he explained. 

"It’s such a blessing to find a way of making a living that you love, that’d you do for nothing. I feel so sorry for people who hate their jobs. I look forward to going to work every morning," Van Dyke added.

Van Dyke noted he’s on his "third generation" of fans enjoying his work, "I’m getting letters from little kids, and that is what I love. They watch the movies over and over, I’m getting so much more mail today than I did in the heyday of my career."

The "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" star also reflected on the loss of long-time friends Carl Reiner and Norman Lear, the latter of whom passed away earlier this month.

He called them his "two favorite human beings," and admitted the loss of friends has been hard.

"Everybody I knew and worked with, there’s no one left," he said.

Van Dyke copes by trying not to focus on it and "making new friends, and getting involved in a lot of things, try to keep busy."

When asked if he thinks about why he’s still with us, he answered, "As I’ve said, if I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself," referring to his one-time battle with alcoholism.

On his birthday celebration post on social media, Van Dyke shared his key to "living well" is "Just keep moving."

Van Dyke also praises his wife, Arlene Silver, for keeping him going to the gym "three days a week and do a full work out."

Earlier this year, he joked that "Having a beautiful young wife half my age to take care of me" also keeps him young.

 

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