There isn’t much that Hollywood superstar Dick Van Dyke hasn’t done in his decades-long acting career. At 97 years old, the living legend has secured his place in showbiz thanks to his roles in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, DICK TRACY, DIAGNOSIS: MURDER, and of course, his eponymous series, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. But recently, the Emmy, Tony, and Grammy winner tackled a genre he never had before: soap operas! Thanks to a recommendation from DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Drake Hogestyn (John), Van Dyke will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the Peacock drama.
As Van Dyke explained to ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, he and Hogestyn are friends from working out at the same gym, and some good-natured teasing eventually became a reality. “I used to kid him, ‘Don’t you ever have any parts for old people? Come on, get me a part.’”
Presumably, Hogestyn pled his pal’s case with The Powers That Be at DAYS. “He took me seriously,” added Van Dyke, “and got me a part.”
Van Dyke is slated to make his soap debut this fall playing a mystery man with amnesia in scenes with Hogestyn and Deidre Hall’s Marlena. “I’ve played old men before,” the actor shared, “but comedy old men. First time I’ve ever just played my 97-year-old self.”
Before arriving at the DAYS set, Van Dyke watched the show in preparation for his soap debut. “Some of those people have been doing them for 20 years,” he marveled. “That’s about all the homework I could do, is to watch one and see how they did it.”
He also got some words of advice from his longtime friend, soap opera superfan Carol Burnett — who appeared several times on ALL MY CHILDREN as Langley Wallingford’s daughter Verla Grubbs. “Make sure you know all your lines,” she warned, “because they don’t do retakes! If anything goes wrong, you’re stuck.”
Van Dyke’s multi-episode arc will air this fall.