Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.
His trailblazing television program, The Dick Van Dyke Show (produced by Carl Reiner, who has written the foreword to this memoir), was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s and introduced another major television star, Mary Tyler Moore. But Dick Van Dyke was also an enormously engaging movie star whose films, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, have been discovered by a new generation of fans and are as beloved today as they were when they first appeared. Who doesn’t know the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?
A colorful, loving, richly detailed look at the decades of a multilayered life, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business will enthrall every generation of listener, from baby-boomers who recall when Rob Petrie became a household name to all those still enchanted by Bert’s “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. This is a lively, heartwarming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a “simple song-and-dance man”, but who is, in every sense of the word, a classic entertainer.
©2011 Dick Van Dyke (P)2011 Random House Audio
“In my opinion, 'Luck’ has little to do with Dick Van Dyke’s life. It is, rather, his innate kindness and talent that have had an extraordinary effect in shaping the man. And what a fascinating self-portrait he’s given us in this book.” (Mary Tyler Moore)
“From the time I worked with Dick on the movie Bye Bye Birdie, I have admired his many talents, not the least of which is the joy and enthusiasm he shares with audiences. I’m a big fan of his... and his book.” (Ann-Margret)
His early days and his unlikely rise to stardom. Lucky indeed.
His memories of the movies I loved as a child, especially Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (he hated it)
Burt, the chimneysweep, is a close second to Rob Petrie.
Many, but his meetings and friendships with the old silent comedians, Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton.
I have always enjoyed watching the movies and television work of this extraordinarily talented man. I was too young to enjoy his television years but at the age of seven I remember being absolutely riveted by the movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
By the time the movie was released in the UK we knew every word to every song in the film because my father bought the record album for my brother and I to listed to - and did we ever. I still remember most of the songs now. It was a magical day when we actually joined the huge lines at our local cinema and to enjoy something this special.
I am sure that many will disagree, but I felt let down when Mr. Van Dyke talked as if the movie had been a disappointment in its finished product. He voiced that there were a lot of things that he was not happy with or did not go as he would have liked; and if this is how he feels then he is right to publish this view.
However, I remember this film being an absolute blockbuster which he presumably benefitted financially and a career point of view. In fact I am sure he is still collecting royalty checks from the repeats of the film and theater production.
He gave very little details of where he felt the movie had not gone as planned which would have been interesting to hear (although I do remember him saying that the seaside scenes had to be filmed in the South of France because of the poor British weather! What a shocker).
But I really felt let down as a fan of the movie in that he seemed to show no appreciation or awareness of the pleasure it gave children then and is still doing now. If things didn't go to plan, then of course that is extremely relevant but he brushed passed all this and I got the feeling that it was not a film that he enjoyed making at all.
Okay, I am a 'happy ending' sort of gal but one of my pet hates is when celebrities moan about work that gave them a great deal of fame and money, but also brought something special to the lives of the audience the movie was targeted to.
Thanks for reading
I absolutely loved the first half and hated the second life.
If he realized people have different political viewpoints.
His great performance. He really can entertain.
I think Dick leaves a lot out of the story. He skims over much of the story. His parents were distant and his father was an alcoholic and you can see how it impacted his life greatly. But he doesn't tell you how he really feels.
I listened to this on vacation while driving through the North Carolina mountains! You are immediately comforted with the voice of the one and only DIck Van Dyke. This is another story of someone who went through a long time with nothing and lived one day to the next, which you forget in all of the glamour of Hollywood. I must admit that I kept waiting for what I consider to be the two big Dick events, the breakup of his marriage and subsequent long partnership with MIchelle Triola and his alcoholism. Don't make the same mistake! There are plenty of good stories about his television shows, Broadway shows and movies and his marriage as they moved around for his career. I got the book from the library to look at the pictures and he was friends with great ones such as Richard Crenna. I know what Michelle looked like but I would have liked to see her picture in there are as well. This is a multi-generation listen; my mom liked it too!
what a wonderful listen this book has been. Mr. Van Dyke add so much to the reading. he is a wonderful man who's led an amazing life. I cant recommend it highly enough.
Work Hard. Be Nice.
I've been a fan of Dick Van Dyke my whole life and I was excited to listen to his memoir.
It was good, but not great for me. It read more like a timeline of his life than giving me any deep insight into his life. I don't really feel closer to his after reading the book, but I did enjoy it.
He's a nice guy and admittedly lazy, and I guess the life stories of nice guys just aren't as interesting as those who aren't so nice and who actively work hard to accomplish their goals.
If you're a fan you'll enjoy this. If you're just looking for an insider look at show biz then you may consider a different book.
I'm a fan and remain one after this reading.
I gave the story 4 stars, because it's HIS story. Had it been anyone else I'd have rated lower.
Yes. I'm British and I grew up on all of the Dick Van Dyke kiddie movies. Just loved his story. It was straight from the heart. Poignant. Funny. Although ragic in parts. He told his story with such honesty. His words and view on life is inspirational and encouraging. He's an all round wonderful entertainer. I love the fact that he's still working because that's his passion and drive in life and you can hear this through his voice and countless stories of showbiz.
Dick Van Dyke of course, who else could it be?!
You don't need to be a fan to enjoy this book. I couldn't put the audio down!
Always been an admirer of Mr.Van Dyke and his body of work. His positive attitude and humility shine through this overview of life experience. Looking forward to reading his latest ,"Keep Moving".
Especially since it is supposed to highlight his relationship with Arlene. The Van Dykes were an inspiration the good Lord above used to let down my guard, when I was smitten with the love of my life!
He is 16 years my senior. & is everything I dreamed of, and then some. Thanks again, Mr. Van Dyke, for being true to your calling!!
Mrs. Kitty A.
As an author myself, dyslexic, and ADD, I need something that grabs me. Non-fiction on things of interest to me, educates, & titillates.
It was not one of my favorite books to listen to. Not a lot of energy. The story wasn't bad but I guess not what I expected.
Now don't get me wrong. I love the man and the years of laughter he gave to me through his TV show and musicals. No one had the comedic timing and ability to do physical comedy the way he did. He was the best. AND he was a super TV writer.
his life is his life and I could never compare it to someone elses.
I was so saddened by how his voice sounded when he narrated. It made it a bit hard to listen to at points. It sounded like his speech was impaired, almost like his teeth were loose ( I know that sounds so weird)
I hope at the reading he was just not feeling well. Maybe it was just me, but it was kind of sad, and it affected the way I felt about listening to it.
Sad to say, as much as I love the man and the actor, he should not have read his own book. The story could have been edited better and I believe a book, or movie, for that much, lives or dies with the editor. And of course 2nd would be the narration, if you're into audio, like me.
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