Dick Clark was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York on November 30, 1929 to Julia Fuller and Richard Augustus Clark. He had one older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. At the age of 16, Clark got his first job in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in Utica, New York, which was owned by his uncle and managed by his father. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to weatherman before becoming a radio announcer. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in business administration, Clark began working at several radio and television stations before landing at WFIL radio in 1952. While working at the station, Clark became a substitute host for Bob Horn's Bandstand, an afternoon program where teenagers danced to popular music, broadcast by WFIL's affiliated television station. In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving, giving Clark the perfect opportunity to step in as the full-time host.
After acquiring nationwide distribution the newly reformatted program, now titled "American Bandstand", premiered on ABC on August 5, 1957. In addition to the name change, Clark added interviews with artists (starting with Elvis Presley), lip-sync performances, and "Rate-a-Record," allowing teens to judge the songs on the show - and giving birth to the popular phrase, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." Clark also established a formal dress code, mandating dresses and skirts for the women and a coat and tie for the men. But perhaps the most impactful change that Clark made to the show was ending "American Bandstand's" all-white policy, allowing African American artists to perform on the show.
Under Clark's influence, "Bandstand" became one of the most successful and longest-running musical programs, featuring artists including Chuck Berry, the Doors, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, and Smokey Robinson. Sonny and Cher, The Jackson 5, Prince, and Aerosmith were among the influential artists and bands that made their television debuts on "Bandstand", which is also credited with helping to make America more accepting of rock 'n' roll.
With the success of "American Bandstand", Clark became more invested in the music publishing and recording businesses, and began managing artists, hosting live sock hops, and arranging concert tours. But in 1960, when the United States Senate began investigating "payola", the practice in which music producing companies paid broadcasting companies to favor their products, Clark became caught up in the scandal. The investigation found he had partial copyrights to over 150 songs, many of which were featured on his show. Clark denied he was involved in any way, but admitted to accepting a fur and jewelry from a record company president. In the end, the Senate could not find any illegal actions by Clark, but ABC asked Clark to either sell his shares in these companies or leave the network so there was no conflict of interest. He chose to sell and continue on as host of "American Bandstand", which was unaffected by the scandal.
In 1964, Clark moved Bandstand from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and became more involved in television production. Under his company Dick Clark Productions, he produced such shows as "Where the Action Is", "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes", and more recently, "So You Think You Can Dance", as well as made-for-television movies including "Elvis", "The Birth of the Beatles", "Wild Streets", and "The Savage Seven". Clark also hosted television's "$10,000 Pyramid", "TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes" (with co-host Ed McMahon), "Scattergories", and "The Other Half". Clark also had several radio programs, including "The Dick Clark National Music Survey", "Countdown America", and "Rock, Roll & Remember".
In 1972, he produced and hosted the very first edition of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve", a musical program where Clark counted down until the New Year ball dropped in Times Square, featuring taped performances from musical artists. "New Year's Rockin' Eve" soon became a cultural tradition, airing on ABC every year with Clark as host (except in 1999 when ABC aired "ABC 2000: Today", a news milestone program hosted by Peter Jennings). In December 2004, Clark suffered a minor stroke and was unable to host, so Regis Philbin stepped in as a substitute. The following year, Clark returned as co-host alongside primary host Ryan Seacrest. Many were worried about Clark due to his slurred and breathless speech, and he admitted on-air he was still recovering but that he wouldn't have missed the broadcast for the world. The following year, Seacrest became "New Year's Rockin' Eve's" primary host, but Clark always returned for the countdown.
Clark has received several notable awards including four Emmy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and the Peabody Award in 1999. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976, The Radio Hall of Fame in 1990, Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Clark had been in St. John's hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing an outpatient procedure the night of April 17, 2012. Clark suffered a massive heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he died the next morning of April 18, 2012.
|Kari Clark||(7 July 1977 - 18 April 2012) (his death)|
|Loretta Martin||(25 April 1962 - March 1973) (divorced) 2 children|
|Barbara Mallery||(28 June 1952 - 21 November 1961) (divorced) 1 child|
His departing catchphrase delivered with a military salute.
His youthful appearance
He and his wife, Kari Clark, were married on 7/7/77 in a ceremony that started at 7:00 pm. His address in Burbank at that time was PO Box 7777.
Actor John Davidson's father was the man who performed Dick and Kari's wedding vows.
First wife Barbara Mallery (aunt of composer Billy Mallery) was his childhood sweetheart.
Began his career in 1945 in the mailroom of WRUN in Utica, New York, working his way up to weatherman and then newsman. WRUN was owned by Dick's uncle and run by Dick's father.
Graduated from Syracuse University in 1951 with a degee in business administration.
When "New American Bandstand 1965" (1952) was picked up by ABC in 1957, he changed its name to "American Bandstand", ended the show's all-white policy and began introducing black artists. By 1959, it was broadcast by 101 affiliates and reached an audience of 20 million.
In 1959, the United States Senate began investigating the practice of "payola", in which record companies bribed radio personalities to play new records. Clark admitted he accepted a fur stole and jewelry and held financial interests in artists and songs that were frequently on "New American Bandstand 1965" (1952). Even though he was cleared of any wrongdoing, he was ordered to either leave ABC or sell his interests; he sold.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Was the co-owner of Film Ventures International Pictures with Edward L. Montoro for several years.
On 2/14/02, Dick Clark Productions announced it will be acquired for $140 million by Mosaic Media Group, Inc., Capital Communications CDPQ Inc., and Jules Haimovitz, a senior television executive. Stockholders will receive $14.50 per share in cash. Clark himself will receive $12.50 per share in cash for a portion of his shares. Dick Clark Productions was founded in 1957.
Child with first wife Barbara Mallery, Richard, Jr., was born 9 January 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.
Filed suit in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging that Michael Greene, president and chief executive of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, maintains a "blacklist" policy that prevents stars - including Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Sean Combs and Toni Braxton - from performing on both Greene's Grammy Awards and Clark's American Music Awards. The suit seeks $10 million in damages. (19 December 2001)
Rarely consumed alcoholic beverages, and every December 31, when he and his wife hosted "Rockin' New Year's Eve", she didn't drink, either.
Was hospitalized for a mild stroke and is reportedly doing fine. [8 December 2004]
2005: For the first time in 32 years, he was not around to see the New Year in with his "Rockin' New Year's Eve" celebration on television. It was hoped that after he had suffered his mild stroke in early December 2004, that he would recover enough to host the festivities. With Clark still in his hospital bed on New Year's Eve, Regis Philbin filled in for him.
Is a close personal friend of singer Connie Francis. Connie's music label was going to drop her if her last recorded song didn't sell. Thankfully, Dick played it, "Who's Sorry Now", on "New American Bandstand 1965" (1952) and it became an instant hit. Dick has stayed by her side even through her personal tragedies and she thanks him in every single one of her shows.
In one of his few dramatic roles, he played against his nice guy image to portray the murderer in the final episode (air date 2 May 1966) of "Perry Mason" (1957). The episode was appropriately titled, "Perry Mason: The Case of the Final Fade-Out (#9.30)" (1966). He also played against type as a nerdy guy who turns out to be a psycho killer in the film, Killers Three (1968).
Was considered as host of "Las Vegas Gambit" (1972).
Dick Clark had been in St. John's hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing an outpatient procedure the night of April 17, 2012. Clark suffered a massive heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he died the next morning of April 18, 2012.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976.
Received a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and a Peabody Award in 1999.
Mentor and friend of Ryan Seacrest.
Long before he was one of Hollywood's successful television hosts and producers, he worked at WOLF-AM, then a country music station, in Syracuse, New York.
Had hosted his New Years' Rockin' Eve every year from 1972 to 1999 (when it was preempted for ABC 2000: The Millennium (1999) (TV)), then from 2001 to 2003, just the year before he suffered a massive stroke, which reduced his role, between 2005 to 2011.
Filled in for Casey Kasem once on American Top 40 in 1972.
Met Ed McMahon, when the two were both living in Philadelphia, and McMahon praised him for first bringing him together with future television partner Johnny Carson when all three worked at ABC in the late 1950s. More than a quarter of a century later, Clark would be re-teaming up with McMahon hosting "Super Bloopers and Pratical Jokes" (1984).
Upon his death, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
Before his death, he underwent surgery to fix an enlarged prostate.
Over the years, his show "New American Bandstand 1965" (1952) gave many new music artists their first exposure to national audiences, including those of Ike Turner and his ex-wife Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Melba Moore, Donna Summer, Madonna, Michael Damian, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Mariah Carey, Cyndi Lauper, Talking Heads, The Beatles, The Monkees, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel and Paul Anka.
Was friends with Bob Barker, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Richard Dawson, Bill Cullen, Wink Martindale, Chuck Woolery, Alex Trebek, Charlie O'Donnell, Connie Francis, Donna Summer, Robert Conrad, Vicki Lawrence, Jamie Farr and Barry Manilow.
Towards the end of Clark's 31st year (1986-87) of hosting "New American Bandstand 1965" (1952), ABC was in the process of reducing the series from a full hour to 30 minutes, but he refused, therefore, at the end of the season, his show moved from ABC to The USA Cable Network, with David Hirsch replacing Dick Clark as host, in the final season of 1988.
In his 16 year tenure as the host of "The (New) $25,000 Pyramid" (1973), amongst the guests who have been on his show were: Vicki Lawrence, Jamie Farr, Constance McCashin, Henry Polic II, Ed Begley Jr., Martha Smith, Shelley Smith, Teresa Ganzel, Barry Jenner and David Graf.
Made 2 cameo appearances on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990). In one episode he plays himself at a Philadelphia diner, and in the other he helps Will Smith's character host bloopers from past episodes of that sitcom.
In his six decade career, he had an almost 40 year history of hosting several game shows, as well as a Top 40 radio countdown show host.
Because he was hosting "The Challengers" (1990) at the time, he was unavailable to host the revamped version of "The (New) $25,000 Pyramid" (1973) in early 1991, when John Davidson became the new host. On the premiere episode, he sent a pre-recorded message wishing Davidson well in hosting the show.
Made a guest appearance on an episode of "Let's Make a Deal" (1990), where he was showing the dealers an item.
Was Bob Stewart's first choice as host of the new game show, "The (New) $25,000 Pyramid" (1973), which he accepted and stayed with the role, for 16 years, with only a couple of interruptions, between 1973 and 1989.
Before he was a successful television host, a game show host and a producer, he used to share afternoon duties with the then-"New American Bandstand 1965" (1952) host, Bob Horn at WFIL-AM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Horn was working on radio and television simultaneously, and wasn't happy about it.
When American Bandstand was first televised by ABC in 1957,the program started one half hour earlier at 2:30 PM weekdays on local affiliate WFIL in Philadelphia, then joined the network at 3PM. At 3:30PM the telecast broke away for a half hour and was replaced by the Quiz Show "Do You Trust Your Wife" Starring Johnny Carson, televised from NYC. American Bandstand returned to the air from 5-6PM. This was a rarity, even by today's standards. A 90 minute live show, with another program serving as an intermission.
His idol, was when he was very young, was Bill Cullen.
When he was new to Hollywood, Ryan Seacrest went to Dick Clark's office to talk to him about breaking into show business. Clark's secretary initially turned him away, but Clark stopped her, inviting Seacrest into his office. The two became good friends and Seacrest credits Clark for being his mentor and helping him launch his career.
He was a lifelong Republican and conservative.
In the history of American Bandstand", only 2 recording artists performed the same song twice, in one appearance. This occurred, in 1958, when Chuck Berry, in his network TV debut, sang "Rock and Roll Music" and in 1961, when Gary U. S. Bonds performed "A Quarter To Three",.
From 1965-67 he hosted "Where The Action Is", a daily mid afternoon R n R Pop variety show similar in format to "Shindig"(1964) and "Hulaballo"(1965), complete with Go Go Dancers and top recording acts. The show originated from various vacation resorts such as Big Sir and Malibu Beach. Regulars on the show performed their own songs, as well as other hits of the day, The regulars included Linda Scott, Steve Alamo and Paul Revere and The Raiders.
In its' first season 1957, ABC presented a nighttime version of "American Bandstand" It ran for 1/2 hour for 13 weeks on Monday nights (Oct.7th to Dec. 30th 1957). Dick's guests included, "The Everly Brothers", "Mickey and Sylvia" and "The Billy Williams Quartet". Ironically, the nighttime "American Bandstand", hosted by Dick Clark, would finally end the night before New Year's Eve of 1957. Beginning in 1972 and for 4 decades Dick Clark would be a welcome guest in American households as host of "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve".
He hosted "The Saturday Night Dick Clark Show "(1958-1960), on ABC, from NYCs "Little Theater"(in 1983,renamed"The Helen Hayes Theater). The 1/2 hour weekly show headlined 5 top Pop/Rock acts each week. Many of the regular teens that appeared on "American Bandstand" made the trip from Philadelphia to NYC and were seated in the audience.
Humor is always based on a modicum of truth. Have you ever heard a joke about a father-in-law?
Music is the soundtrack of our life.
My business is teenagers. I don't set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.