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Dick Van Dyke Becomes the Oldest Daytime Emmy Winner at 98 Years Old: ‘I’ll Be Darned’

The actor and comedian broke the record with his most recent win for a role on ‘Days of Our Lives’

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The 98-year-old actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke has lived a full, exciting life, and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. The actor has recently made history becoming the oldest winner of a Daytime Emmy Award for his role on Days of Our Lives.

His award came for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series, which he won after portraying Timothy Robicheaux on the soap opera. Van Dyke, who rose to fame after starring in the musical Bye-Bye Birdie, which he also won a Tony Award for, was thrilled about the nomination and ultimate win.

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man and woman on stage
Dick Van Dyke at 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (2024)JC Olivera / Contributor / Getty

Van Dyke joked as he accepted his award on stage, “I feel like a spy from nighttime television. I’m the oldest nominee in history. I can’t believe it.” The actor had already made history being the oldest nominee but has broken records once again with his incredible win.

“I’m 98 years old, can you believe it?” he said. “This really tops off a lifetime of 80 years in the business.” Van Dyke’s stardom really took off after he scored The Dick Van Dyke Show, a sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966. The sitcom also starred Mary Tyler Moore, who portrayed Van Dyke’s wife.

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Inside Dick Van Dyke’s legendary career

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Dick Van Dyke in ‘Mary Poppins’ (1964)Silver Screen Collection / Contributor / Getty

The comedian, who was often recognized for his stellar work in comedies and musicals , was surprised by his recognition for a dramatic role. “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.” Van Dyke’s most notable roles include Mary Poppins (1964), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and Night at the Museum (2006).

During and after his five-year run on The Dick Van Dyke Show, the actor starred in a number of films, including Fitzwilly (1967), Never a Dull Moment (1968), Strong Medicine (1986) and Dick Tracy (1990). In 1993, Van Dyke scored the lead role in Diagnosis Murder as Dr. Mark Sloan.

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His time on the crime drama lasted until 2001 after a total of 178 episodes. He starred alongside his son, Barry Van Dyke, for the show’s entire run.

Despite breaking records with his latest win, Van Dyke has actually won five  Daytime Emmy awards. He has even obtained a Grammy for Best Recording for Children in Mary Poppins. And after all of the awards and accolades he has received over his decades long career, he is still surprised with the nominations that come his way.

Dick Van Dyke Emmy-winning reaction to his record-breaking nomination

man smiling on red carpet
Dick Van Dyke at The Kennedy Center Honors (2021)Paul Morigi / Stringer / Getty

Am I really the oldest? I didn’t know I was the oldest,” he shared in an interview after the nomination. “I’ll be darned. I think I’m the last of my generation, really. I’m 98. I have almost all my marbles. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast.”

As for how he’s stayed in such good shape into his 90s, the star hits the gym three times a week. “Yes, I do. For being this long lived, I really do,” Van Dyke shared. “And I recommend it to everybody. That’s my secret weapon.”

He shared inspiration for others like him back in 2021 while explaining his workout routine. “So all you old guys out there, listen to me. I’m telling you, you can keep going. I’m still dancing and singing!”And after all these years and nominations, Van Dyke wouldn’t change a thing. “Well, it was a matter of just enjoying myself,” he says. “I always loved what I was doing. If it had felt like work, I probably would have stopped it a long time ago,” he laughs, “but I just loved it.

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