Dick Clark, his Colgate smile never fading, with microphone always in-hand, has died of a “massive heart attack” this morning, says his longtime publicist. Nicknamed “America’s oldest teenager,” Clark’s boyish charm never waned, even after a debilitating stroke in 2004. He was responsible for the creation of more than 30 television series and over 250 TV specials, as well as more than 20 movies for theatre and TV. His “Rockin’ Eve” has been a global staple in celebrating the New Year holiday for more than 30 years.
Dick Clark was an absolute powerhouse in the television world in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes. In the 1950′s-1960′s, Clark hosted the iconic American Bandstand,booking some of the world’s most sought-after performers. In 1974, he created the American Music Awards for ABC, after they lost the rights to broadcast the Grammy Awards. In the 1980s, Clark had had shows featured on all three major television networks and was listed among the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans. He was hosting so many TV shows, that when fans would compliment that they “loved his show,” he became embarrassed, not knowing which they were referring to.
Dick Clark has unarguably changed the landscape of television and Rock & Roll for more than five decades and his mark will be felt for many years to come. His signature sign-off was always “For now, Dick Clark …so long.” Today, generations of fans are saluting you back, Dick. You’ll be sorely missed.
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