Mark Hamill, Suzanne Somers And More React As Dick Van Dyke Celebrated Hitting 97

Dick Van Dyke in a colorful suit and hat in Marry Poppins.
(Image credit: Disney)

Growing up with Marry Poppins, you know one of the greatest classic musicals of all time, it’s impossible to not know, and love, Dick Van Dyke and his infectiously happy demeanor. From dancing with penguins and Julie Andrews in the classic Disney film, to making families laugh for years on The Dick Van Dyke Show, he’s a beloved actor, who has inspired many. To celebrate his 97th birthday many are posting about their favorite moments and memories of the iconic actor. 

Mark Hamill posted a tribute to the actor, by simply uploading a photo of Van Dyke with a swan. The photo is from an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1962 where the comedian spends the duration of the program taking care of a Swan named Stanley. The essence of the photo, and Hamill’s simple caption are hilarious and a perfect way to celebrate the actor. 

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Richard Schiff, an actor known for his work on The West Wing, retweeted a video that went viral a few years ago of Dick Van Dyke singing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the middle of a Denny’s. Clearly, Schiff loves Van Dyke, and seeing the video again brought him a lot of joy, check it out: 

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Kathy Gori, a voice actress known for her work on Tom & Jerry, also honored Van Dyke today, posting a fun photo from The Dick Van Dyke Show. She tweeted about how much the show meant to her, and how much it did for women in comedy. Check out Gori’s sweet message here: 

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Van Dyke’s show has inspired generations of TV both directly and indirectly. For example, one episode of WandaVision was directly pulling references from Van Dyke’s show, which he loved. It’s so heartwarming to not only see the long-term impact Van Dyke has had on the industry, but he’s been so happy, and receptive to those who are inspired by his work. For example, he had the perfect reaction to Marry Poppins Returns, and he ended up making an extremely fun cameo in the movie.  

Others who starred in game-changing comedies also wished the actor a happy birthday, like The Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick. She said what I think a lot of us are thinking as she posted

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Three’s Company actress Suzanne Somers also wished the legendary comedic actor a happy birthday, noting that he’s the “happiest man on the planet," check it out: 

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Finally, SAG-AFTRA also wished Van Dyke a happy birthday, explaining just how “dazzling” his career is, and how impactful his eight decades in the industry have been. What can I say, he’s beloved for good reason.

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All these loving words for the joyous actor are so fun to see, and I hope Van Dyke knows just how loved he is, and how much joy he has brought to so many. 

To honor Van Dyke on his 97th birthday you can go back and watch some of his classic films, like Marry Poppins with a Disney+ subscription and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with an HBO Max subscription

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.