Thursday, September 20, 2012

CBR4 #39 My Lucky Life In & Out Of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles. His trailblazing television program, The Dick Van Dyke Show (produced by Carl Reiner, who has written the foreword to this memoir), was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s and introduced another major television star, Mary Tyler Moore. But Dick Van Dyke was also an enormously engaging movie star whose films, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, have been discovered by a new generation of fans and are as beloved today as they were when they first appeared. Who doesn’t know the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? A colorful, loving, richly detailed look at the decades of a multilayered life, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, will enthrall every generation of reader, from baby-boomers who recall when Rob Petrie became a household name, to all those still enchanted by Bert’s “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” This is a lively, heartwarming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a “simple song-and-dance man,” but who is, in every sense of the word, a classic entertainer.
 This book was the third entertainment industry memoir I read over a few months.  I've been a fan of Dick Van Dyke, but I didn't know that he got his start in radio.  I was also surprised to learn that Dick decided early on in his career that he would only do films that his kids could see.  It is impressive that Dick continued to reinvent himself through the different characters and opportunities he got over the years.  Dick's life was perfect as he cheated on his wife and was an alcoholic.  Even so this book provides a good insider look into Hollywood and how one actor found his place there. 

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