Dick Van Dyke
Much loved by generations of fans for his comic - as well as sometimes underestimated song and dance talents - and a seemingly endless supply of joie de vivre, Dick Van Dyke was a multiple Emmy winner and television legend for his work on the beloved sitcom, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS, 1961-66). The Illinois native had already endeared himself to audiences as the star of the hit Broadway musical "Bye Bye Birdie," which earned him a Tony Award in 1961, and he continued to delight audiences during the series' network run with films like "Mary Poppins" (1964) and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968), but it was his famous sitcom which defined him. Van Dyke struggled to find a quality project after the series left the air, but remained a welcome presence in TV movies and guest shots until the early 1990s, when he scored again as a doctor-turned-sleuth on "Diagnosis Murder" (CBS, 1993-2001). Predictably, the indefatigable Van Dyke never adhered to the concept of retirement and continued to pop up in such projects as the animated feature "Curious George" (2006) and a new series of made-for-TV mysteries, beginning with "Murder 101" (Hallmark, 2006). A consummate entertainer and ambassador of goodwill for more than 50 years, Van Dyke never failed to put a smile on the faces of audiences of all ages.