Dick Van Dyke Has Sad Moment As He Celebrates 98th Birthday – ‘I’m Having To Make New Friends’

Dick Van Dyke
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The legendary Hollywood star Dick Van Dyke is turning 98 today, and while he’s happy to celebrate this occasion, there is one “sad” aspect to it that anyone of a certain age will certainly be able to relate to.

Van Dyke’s ‘Sad’ Birthday Moment

CBS recently taped a birthday special for Van Dyke titled “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic,” which is set to air on December 21. The two-hour special features both archival footage and live performances from some of the best moments of Van Dyke’s iconic career that spans 75 years. While Van Dyke enjoyed filming this special immensely, there was one aspect of it that left him feeling a bit sad, however.

“I had a bunch of friends there to say nice things, but Mary Tyler Moore, Morey [Amsterdam] and Rosie [Rose Marie], Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, all the people that I always loved and associated with are gone, so I’m having to make new friends,” Van Dyke told People Magazine.

Thankfully, this isn’t very hard for someone like Van Dyke.

“I’m happy to say people come to me,” he added. “I don’t have to go out looking.”

The most recent person in that group of legendary stars to pass away was Lear, who died last week at the age of 101.

Full Story: Norman Lear Dead At 101

Van Dyke Loved Filming Birthday Special

Despite all of this, Van Dyke still loved filming his birthday special, describing it as a surreal experience.

“You think, ‘I don’t deserve this,’ but it’s difficult to say how I felt,” he said. “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. My whole life went before me. I didn’t realize I had done so many things while I was 75 years in show business.”

“I was just blown away,” he added.

As for how Van Dyke will be celebrating his actual birthday today, he plans to keep things low-key by spending time at his Southern California home with his wife Arlene Silver, 52, and several of his grandchildren.

 “I’m not much on traditions, I don’t think,” he explained, though he went on to admit that he still finds joy in the “every day of my life.”

“My wife brings me a cup of coffee in the morning,” he said. “I get it in bed. I get treated like a king around here.”

Related: Dick Van Dyke To Be Honored By CBS As He Turns 98

Van Dyke’s Romantic History

Silver is Van Dyke’s second wife, as he was previously married to Margie Willett from 1948 until they divorced in 1984. After his divorce, he was in a relationship with the actress Michelle Triola for over thirty years before she passed away in 2009. Van Dyke met Silver at the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards, when he was 81 and she was 35.

“I just went up and said, ‘Hi, I’m Dick.’ I don’t know how I got the courage,” he recalled. “Anyway, we ended up married. She sings like an angel. She dances, and we do a whole act together. We do duets and things. She’s the best partner I ever ran into. What a pleasure it is.”

Related: Dick Van Dyke Praises 52 Year-Old Wife Arlene Silver As He Prepares To Turn 98

Van Dyke is a true living legend, and there will never be another one like him. If you’d like to celebrate his birthday with him, be sure to tune in to “Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic” when it airs on Thursday, December 21 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS!

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