Dick Clark Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Death, Cause of Death | Who was Dick Clark? Bio, Wiki

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Who was Dick Clark?

Dick Clark (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was an American radio and television personality, television producer, and film actor, as well as a cultural icon who remains best known for hosting American Bandstand from 1956 to 1989.

He also hosted five incarnations of the Pyramid game show from 1973 to 1988 and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which transmitted Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Dick Clark Biography, Wiki

Dick Clark was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York on November 30, 1929 to Julia Fuller and Richard Augustus Clark. He had one older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II.

At the age of 16, Clark got his first job in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in Utica, New York, which was owned by his uncle and managed by his father. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to weatherman before becoming a radio announcer.

After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in business administration, Clark began working at several radio and television stations before landing at WFIL radio in 1952.

While working at the station, Clark became a substitute host for Bob Horn’s Bandstand, an afternoon program where teenagers danced to popular music, broadcast by WFIL’s affiliated television station. In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving, giving Clark the perfect opportunity to step in as the full-time host.

After acquiring nationwide distribution the newly reformatted program, now titled “American Bandstand”, premiered on ABC on August 5, 1957.

In addition to the name change, Clark added interviews with artists (starting with Elvis Presley), lip-sync performances, and “Rate-a-Record,” allowing teens to judge the songs on the show – and giving birth to the popular phrase, “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”

Clark also established a formal dress code, mandating dresses and skirts for the women and a coat and tie for the men. But perhaps the most impactful change that Clark made to the show was ending “American Bandstand’s” all-white policy, allowing African American artists to perform on the show.

Dick Clark Biography Wikipedia
Dick Clark
BornRichard Wagstaff Clark
November 30, 1929
Bronxville, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 18, 2012 (aged 82)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
EducationA.B. Davis High School
Alma materSyracuse University
OccupationRadio and television personality, businessman, producer
Years active1945–2012
Board member ofDick Clark Productions
Spouse(s)Barbara Mallery​​(m. 1952; div. 1961)​Loretta Martin​​(m. 1962; div. 1971)​Kari Wigton ​(m. 1977)​
Children3, including Duane Clark
Parent(s)Julia Barnard (1897–1973),
Richard A. Clark Sr. (1896–1989)

Dick Clark Career

Before he joined college, at the age of 16, he was hired by his father to work in the mailroom of the WRUN radio station, which was owned by Dick’s uncle and managed by his father. His skills impressed his father and within a few months, he was made the weatherman at the station, and a few more months later, he was the station break announcer.

However, he left his family radio station after he enrolled in college and worked at a country music station named WOLF-AM. Following his college graduation in the early 1950s, he briefly returned to work with his father at WRUN radio station.

He left the job in favor of a television hosting job at WKTV in Utica for the show titled Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, which was a television program that played country music.

In 1952, he received a job offer from Drexel Hill, Philadelphia, to work in the WFIL radio as a disc jockey. WFIL also broadcasted a television show called Bandstand which was hosted by Bob Horn. In the initial few years, Dick was an occasional host for the program whenever Bob was not around.

In 1956, Bob was arrested and that led the network to hire Dick as a full-time host of the show. The show’s format had teenagers dancing to the latest pop music and Dick came across as the ideal young host for the show.

Dick hosted the show for a full year, before he approached the ABCAmerican Broadcasting Corporation network, to make the show available for a pan-country viewing. Observing the local success of the show, ABC had no reason to not go for it.

ABC hence purchased the show from WFIL and broadcasted it nationally, starting from August 1957. Initially, the show was broadcast live and ran for 90 minutes on the weekdays.

The show popularized many dancing trends such as twists and strolls. In 1963, the show ended its live broadcasting and was turned into a taped show which was broadcast once a week for an hour-long program. The show ran successfully until 1987.

In the 1960s, the show also began hiring up-and-coming musicians and featured their live performances. Some of the bands that featured on the show, which was now known as American Bandstand, were Pink Floyd and the Doors.

The show became one of the longest-running American musical television programs. The show was also credited with sparking the rock n roll revolution in America.

Over time, Dick associated himself more with the music industry and began working as an artist manager and the organizer of live tours. He also entered recording and publishing businesses.

He also invested in music-themed restaurants such as Dick Clark’s AB DinerDick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill and Dick Clark’s AB Grill etc.

In 1964, the setup of American Bandstand was moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, the centre of the American television industry. This led Dick to engage himself in other television productions.

In the mid-1960s, he began his own production house named Dick Clark Productions and one of the first television programs that he produced was titled Where the Action Is, which was seen as a spinoff to American Bandstand.

By the 1970s, Dick Clark Productions also began producing the American Music Awards, which turned out to be a hugely successful venture.

Under his banner, Dick further produced more television shows such as TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes and So You Think You Can Dance. He also ventured into producing films for television, such as The Savage Seven and Wild Streets. In addition, Dick Clark Productions also produced more radio programs, such as Countdown America and The Dick Clark National Music Survey.

His radio show Dick Clark’s Rock, Roll & Remember became particularly successful. The show began airing in 1982 and by the mid-1980s, Dick assumed the duties as the full-time host of the radio music show. He hosted the show until 2004. The broadcast was officially ended in 2020.

Seeing the success of Guy Lombardo’s New Year specials for CBS, Dick decided to start his own venture. In 1972, he brought New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which was broadcast on NBC.

The show featured the new year’s festivities taking place in New York. The show was later purchased by NBC and became a huge success in the late 1970s.

The show became a cultural icon in America and was hosted by Dick until 2004, the year he suffered a stroke. He, however, briefly returned to perform his hosting duties.

In addition, Dick has hosted television shows such as Dick Clark’s Live Wednesday, Dick Clark’s World of Talent, The Other Half, and Challenge of the Child Geniuses.

Along with his extensive radio and television work, Dick has also acted in films such as Jamboree, The Phynx, Spy Kids, and The Young Doctors.

Throughout his career, Dick has been honored with several awards, such as four Emmy Awards, Peabody Award, and the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Radio Hall of Fame, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

Dick Clark Personal Life

Dick Clark was married thrice, to Barbara Mallery, Loretta Martin, and Kari Wigton. His marriages with Barbara and Loretta ended in divorce, while his third marriage with Kari lasted from 1977 until his death.

Dick had three children from his first two marriages and none from his third marriage.

In 2004, he revealed in an interview that he was suffering from type 2 diabetes. He also suffered from coronary artery disease in the early 2010s, which was undiagnosed.

He passed away due to a heart attack while undergoing a treatment procedure for an enlarged prostate, on April 18, 2012. He was 82 years old at the time of his death.

Dick Clark FAQ’s

Who was Dick Clark?

Richard Wagstaff Clark (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was an American radio and television personality, television producer, and film actor, as well as a cultural icon who remains best known for hosting American Bandstand from 1956 to 1989.

How did Dick Clark die?

He passed away due to a heart attack while undergoing a treatment procedure for an enlarged prostate, on April 18, 2012. He was 82 years old at the time of his death.

How old was Dick Clark?

Dick Clark died at the age of 82.

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