Dick Clark, the producer and television personality known as “America”s Oldest Teenager” for his perennially youthful looks and enthusiasm, has died at age 82.
Clark suffered a “massive heart attack” on Wednesday morning, his rep says in a statement, after he entered St. John”s Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., for an outpatient procedure on Tuesday night. “Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful. He is survived by his wife Kari and his three children, RAC, Duane and Cindy,” the statement continues.
Clark, a diabetic, had suffered a stroke in 2004 but continued in recent years to appear on his New Year”s Eve special from Times Square.
The Mount Vernon, N.Y.-born Clark got his start in the mailroom of his father”s radio station in upstate New York before working disc jockey at his college station and then in Philadelphia in the early 1950s.
When ABC picked up his dance show Bandstand, renaming it American Bandstand, the program became a sensation and featured the biggest the biggest names in the early days of rock “n” roll – everyone from Elvis Presley to Chuck Berry.
Clear went on to produce and to host the $10,000 Pyramid and other game shows, as well as the American Music Awards, the Golden Globes and, starting in 1972, the New Year”s countdown show Dick Clark”s New Year”s Rockin” Eve.
In December 2004, Clark suffered a major stroke that left him partially paralyzed with his speech impaired. After Regis Philbin filled in for him, Clark returned a year later for an emotional appearance on the show, addressing the audience in slurred speech.
“Last year I had a stroke,” said on the broadcast. “It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It”s been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I”m getting there.”
He continued to appear on the show but later handed over hosting duties to Ryan Seacrest.