Days of our Lives' Dick Van Dyke marvels at making Daytime Emmy history

Posted Thursday, June 06, 2024 11:37:40 AM
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After more than 70 years in show biz, Dick Van Dyke has a Daytime Emmy nomination.

Showbiz legend Dick Van Dyke wowed soap audiences when he took on a dramatic role on Days of our Lives, something unusual for the traditionally comedic actor. Van Dyke spun his DAYS role into gold, which led to him being the oldest performer to ever receive a Daytime Emmy nomination at the age of 98.

Van Dyke has been known to American entertainment audiences since the 1960s, when he starred in the Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie, later appearing in the movie version of the same musical. He had his own sitcom with The Dick Van Dyke Show alongside Mary Tyler Moore, and in the 1990s, he starred in the legal and medical procedural Diagnosis: Murder.

However, he never appeared on a soap until 2023. The actor credits longtime DAYS star Drake Hogestyn with giving him the opportunity. The two are old friends from their workouts at the gym, so one day, Van Dyke inquired about a daytime role.

"I said, 'Don't you have any parts for old people? Come on give me one.' And he took me seriously and got me a part!" Van Dyke told Access when news of his casting broke. "I have played old men before, but comedy old men. [This is the] first time I have ever just played my 97-year-old self."

In the story, Van Dyke played a mysterious old man who had no idea who he was or where he came from when he turned up at Salem University Hospital. John Black eventually learned that the man was Timothy Robicheaux, the father he had wanted to know his entire life.

Earning a Daytime Emmy nomination was just icing on the cake for Van Dyke, who is tickled pink about the nod.

"This nomination is very exciting; after all, it took me 75 years and my pal Drake Hogestyn to get on a soap opera!" the actor told PEOPLE "He is really the reason this happened and deserves the credit and thanks. This is a very different honor for me; I seldom get recognized for dramatic or straight acting - comedy and musicals are my specialty after all. I'm so honored and it will be a fun night celebrating with the entire daytime television community."

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