Iconic TV personality Dick Clark died Wednesday morning at the age of 82. Clark, who is perhaps best known for hosting American Bandstand and his annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special, died of a massive heart attack at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. His rep said he had checked into the hospital Tuesday night for an outpatient procedure. No other details were released. Clark is survived by his wife and three children.
Nicknamed “America’s Oldest Teenager” for his young looks, Clark got his start as a radio disc jockey. He moved to television in the mid 50s and was named host of the local Philadelphia show Bandstand after original host Bob Horn was fired. Clark became a household name in 1957 after ABC picked up Bandstand and renamed it American Bandstand. The show helped introduce stars like Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and Stevie Wonder. American Bandstand ran from 1957 to 1987.
Clark’s other hosting work includes the game show Pyramid, Dick Clark’s World of Talent and TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes. He also founded his own production company, Dick Clark Productions, and created the American Music Awards.
Clark’s health declined in recent years due to diabetes and a 2004 stroke that affected his speech and left him partially paralyzed.
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