Iconic TV host and producer Dick Clark died today of a heart attack. He was 82. Clark, called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” is best known for hosting long-running television shows such as American Bandstand, Pyramid, and holiday staple Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. According to Clark’s publicist Paul Shefrin, Clark passed away this morning following “a massive heart attack.” Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. Clark, who suffered a stroke in 2004 that left his speech and movements impaired, had entered St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica last night for an outpatient procedure.
Richard Wagstaff Clark, born on November 30, 1929 in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., earned Grammys, Emmys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among other awards and accolades in his 60 years in show business. From his start on radio in Philadelphia back in the early 1950s to his last appearance on Rockin’ Eve this year, Clark never lost his on-air boyish enthusiasm. But the genial host was also a trailblazing Hollywood executive. His Dick Clark Productions, which he started in the late 1950s and moved to LA in 1963, produced American Bandstand until 1989 and also created, produced and profitably syndicated such shows as Rockin’ Eve, which started in 1972; TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes; The $25,000 Pyramid; The American Music Awards, which began in 1973; and, since 1983, The Golden Globes. Clark also produced movies including 1984’s Emmy-winner The Woman Who Willed A Miracle and 1985’s Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, over the past 49 years Clark’s company has made over 20 TV and feature films, 30 series and 250 specials.
At one point in the mid-’80s, Clark hosted shows on all three major TV networks and in syndication. He also wrote several books, including a 1976 memoir Rock, Roll & Remember. Clark sold dcp to Mosaic Media in 2002 for $140 million. The company, which Clark ceased to have anything to do with years ago, is currently owned by Red Zone Capitol, who bought it for an estimated $175 million in 2007. (more…)