Dick Clark dies of heart attack aged 82

 

Dick Clark: "So long"

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One of America's best-known veteran television personalities, Dick Clark, has died aged 82.

Clark, who presented the long-running music show American Bandstand and an annual New Year's Eve special, had a heart attack, his agent said.

He had continued working even after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2004.

ABC's American Bandstand show introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson and Madonna.

Analysis

American Bandstand, the show Dick Clark hosted for three decades, transformed pop music on television. The programme paved the way for many up-and-coming stars and inspired other music shows. It's also credited with breaking down racial boundaries.

As a host, Clark was the ultimate professional, always calm under pressure and enthusiastic about the music his programme showcased. Millions of Americans also watched Clark's perennial New Year's Eve show.

Even after suffering a huge stroke eight years ago, his speech impaired, he continued to present Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, a programme which he launched in 1972.

Behind the scenes, he was a shrewd businessman, and Clark productions became a powerhouse in Hollywood. His friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to a TV superstar who will be greatly missed.

Paul Shefrin, Clark's spokesman, said the presenter had a heart attack on Wednesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica.

He had gone to the hospital the day before for an outpatient procedure.

Clark was often referred to as "the world's oldest teenager" because of his youthful appearance.

He made his 40th appearance on ABC TV's New Year's Rockin' Eve programme on 31 December 2011.

Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in a New York City suburb in 1929, and began working in the mailroom of a New York radio station in 1945.

In his 1976 autobiography, Rock, Roll & Remember, he said he had idolised his older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. Radio, he said, helped eased his loneliness.

Clark's production company, Dick Clark Productions, created films, game shows, music programmes and beauty contests, including The $25,000 Pyramid, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and the American Music Awards.

At one time during the 1980s, Clark had shows running on all three main US networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - and he ranked among Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans.

He was also a partner of the United Stations Radio Network, which provided content to thousands of stations.

In 1985, Clark told the Associated Press news agency: "There's hardly any segment of the population that doesn't see what I do.

"It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, 'I love your show', and I have no idea which one they're talking about."

Clark married three times and had three children.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 35.

    I spent 21 years in the USA and saw him on TV often. Dick Clark was not your usual (modern day) American TV presenter. Bandstand was America's version of TOTP. Dick was a very "matter-of-fact kinda guy" with no wild gimmicks. I can't even remember a familiar "catchphrase" from him. I think he gained his enormous respect for that alone.
    He certainly had MY respect amongst all the other rubbish.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 27.

    The first time i saw him was on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air last episode. Such a great guy he will be solely missed

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 24.

    Dick Clark was a legend. I'm a Brit, live in the UK and happy that the BBC have reported this.

    I've often spent NYE watching Dick while visiting family in the US and the past few years, since his stroke, it has been great to watch a talented performer battle against the speech impediment that the stroke gave him. I'll miss his NYE show. RIP Dick. Job well done.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 19.

    In an age when labels such as "legend" are bandied about without much thought as to what they actually mean, this guy really was. He was a part of the lives of generations of Americans and I'm sure many will mourn his passing.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 14.

    If most of the modern British DJ's and music show presenters didn't know who Dick Clark was then they should. Get some tapes of his shows, he understood that the acts and their music was the reason people tuned in, not him.

 
 

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