It’s never too late to try something new! Despite a long and storied career as a sitcom staple, Dick Van Dyke still has a few things he hasn’t done in the world of daytime TV, even at age 97. The “Mary Poppins” actor is known for his warm charm and physical comedy, but now the Oscar-winning comedian is ready to take on a whole new challenge: soap-opera acting.
After making a surprise appearance on “The Masked Singer” earlier this year, Van Dyke will now be a guest star in an upcoming episode of “Days of Our Lives.” The iconic soap opera has been around almost as long as Van Dyke has been a television star: The soap first aired in 1965, around the same time that Dick Van Dyke and his television wife, Mary Tyler Moore, were becoming household names.
But don’t worry: The “Bye Bye Birdie” star isn’t aiming to become a soap actor full time. He’s taken the part on a lark.
It all began when Van Dyke and the “Days of Our Lives” actor Drake Hogestyn were pumping iron at the same fitness center.
“Drake and I went to the same gym together,” Van Dyke told Access. “I used to kid him, ‘Say, don’t you ever have any parts for old people? Come on, give me a part!’ And he took me seriously. He got me a part.”
Hogestyn has been one of the soap’s main stars since the 1980s, and even after decades, his John Black is still one of soap’s most iconic characters. And now fans can thank him for bringing Dick Van Dyke to Salem.
Last year, Hogestyn posted a picture of him and Van Dyke working out together as he wished the comedy legend a happy birthday (and gave a nod to colleague Bill Hayes, the 97-year-old actor who has played Salem patriarch Doug Williams since the 1970s).
Happy 97th Birthday to my workout buddy Dick VanDyke! Can you imagine Dick and Bill Hayes working together on Days? Gotta be a record in there somewhere! 97×2!! @iammrvandy @DaysHayes @DaysPeacock @peacock #dool #days pic.twitter.com/W411tVtGKG
— Drake Hogestyn (@DrakeHogestyn) December 13, 2022
On “Days of Our Lives,” Dick Van Dyke will play a “mystery man with amnesia,” according to Access … which sounds like the perfect role for breaking into soap acting. Van Dyke already filmed the episode, and of course, his scenes will include John Black and Black’s on-again, off-again, demonic-again, not-demonic-again love interest Marlena (Deidre Hall).