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SAG Awards honor Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke will receive the Life Achievement Award at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, airing on TNT and TBS at 7 p.m. Sunday.
By Jacqueline Cutler Published: January 26, 2013
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To grasp just how surprising landing that show was, consider that Van Dyke did not know how to dance when he auditioned. Gower Champion taught him.

“I had never danced or sang or acted,” Van Dyke recalled. “I just went up on stage and sang a little of a Ray Bolger song, and he gave me the part on the spot. The choreographers I had knew what I could do and couldn't do. He just taught me. He would give me a move and see if I could do it.”

Van Dyke was in his 30s when he won a Tony for “Birdie.”

“I was scared stiff opening night, and I was a bit wooden, and the reviews said I was adequate,” he said. “Once I started to relax and enjoy myself, I enjoyed it a lot.”

And perhaps that's the secret to why people smile watching him. To prove it, watch what he is most famous for: the black-and-white classic TV comedy “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-66).

“All of us agree that the five years on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show' were the most fun we ever had,” Van Dyke said.