Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Dick VanDyke!!

Happy Birthday Dick VanDyke!!

To all us Disney Fans Dick VanDyke is the lovable chimney sweep, Bert from Mary Poppins. He is a great comedic actor/dancer who never considered himself a dancer.

As a young man looking to make his way in acting Dick found himself in California. He decided to look up his comic hero in the white pages in hopes of asking him for advice. He was surprised to find that Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy) was listed! He quickly went over and knocked on Mr. Laurel’s door! Thus started a long friendship where Mr. Laurel mentored the young Dick VanDyke. If you have watch old Laurel and Hardy movies you can see Stan Laurel in Dick VanDyke’s mannerisms at times.

Dick VanDyke wrote the introduction to a wonderful biography titled, “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy, An Affectionate Biography by John McCabe. He tells about his time with Mr. Laurel in the introduction.

Dick was chosen for the lead role of Bye Bye Birdie after auditioning for a small role. In fact a song was written just for him in the show. He was chosen because after auditioning he was nervous and started adlibbing a little soft shoe dance. The choreographer for the show saw his dance and jumped right up and said he had the lead. When Dick told him he did not know how to dance he was told they would teach him.

At the 2011 D23 Expo Dick VanDyke and the Vantastix were performing. (The Vantastix is an acapella group that sings with Dick. They have released an album, Put On a Happy Face.) While performing Dick shared how he got the part as Bert in Mary Poppins. Dick had said in an interview he believed there should be more “family” entertainment offered in the movies. He said that he was told Walt Disney had read the interview and without ever seeing him perform decided he should be offered the part.

While reading the script for Mary Poppins Dick felt that he could do the part of the elder Mr. Daws, the president of the bank. Walt Disney would not hear of it and refused to even let him try out for the park. Dick got in full make up and came in and tried out. Walt was so taken by his performance he gave him the job but said it would have to be uncredited.

To learn a little more about Dick VanDyke check out the WikiPedia page about him.

My Christmas book, “An Angel Remembers 25 Voices of Christmas” is available!!
This is a collection of 26 short Christmas stories that together bring the amazing events of Christ’s birth alive. It is my hope that this will help encourage families to spend 10-15 minutes a day together during the busy holiday season remembering the true reason for the season.
You can find it for ALL eReader formats and PDF at:

For your Nook the link is:

It is also available at the iTunes book store and many other ebook seller sites.
The only big site not carrying my book is Amazon.
You can download a Kindle version from

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