Dick Van Dyke was, and still is, one of the most beloved actors of all time. His musical talents, dancing abilities, and comedic genius make him a timeless talent.
The 91-year-old actor has been in the business for a while, but how much do you really know about him?
1. Tall Boy
Though being over 6ft tall isn't necessarily shocking, it is when you're not even 12 years old. In his book Those Funny Kids: A Treasury of Classroom Laughter, Van Dyke revealed he was over 6'1" by age 11.
2. So What Is The Truth?
Dick Van Dyke wrote in one of his books that his parents lied to him about his age until he was 18. He was born out of wedlock, and they didn't want him to know.
This is an excerpt from Van Dyke's book, "My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business".
“I’m going to be eighteen in March,” I said. “That means I’ll be up for the draft. I really don’t want to go — and I really don’t want to be in the infantry. So I’m thinking that I ought to join now and try to get in the Air Force.”
My mother let the dish she was washing slide back into the soapy water and dried her hands. She turned to me, a serious look on her face.
“I have something to tell you,” she said.
“You’re already eighteen,” she said.
My jaw dropped. I was shocked.
“You were born a little premature,” she explained. “You didn’t have any fingernails. And there were a few other complications.”
“Complications?” I said.
“Don’t worry, you’re fine now,” she said, smiling. “But we just put your birth date forward to what would have been full term.” I wanted to know more than she was willing to reveal, so I turned to another source, my Grandmother Van Dyke. My grandparents on both sides lived nearby, but Grandmother Van Dyke was the most straightforward of the bunch. I stopped by her house one day after school and asked what she remembered about the complications that resulted from my premature birth.
She looked like she wanted to say “bulls--t.” She asked who had sold me a bill of goods.
“My mother,” I replied.
“You weren’t premature,” she said.
“You were conceived out of wedlock,” she said, and then she went on to explain that my mother had gotten pregnant before she and my father married. Though it was never stated, I was probably the reason they got married. Eventually my mother confirmed the story, adding that after finding out, she and my father went to Missouri, where I was born. Then, following a certain amount of time, they returned to Danville.
3. Late Graduate
In 1944, Dick Van Dyke dropped out of high school when he was called into war with the Army Air Forces. It wasn't until 60 years later, when Van Dyke returned to his old high school for a performance of Bye Bye Birdie, that the legendary actor received his high school diploma.