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)
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!
The story being told in his own voice, takes a well told account of his road through life and just adds something extra as what he conveys is all the more precise since none know the story better than he.
If you're reading this far because you saw Dick Van Dyke, you'll probably enjoy the book a great deal.
The most enjoyable was listening to Mr. Van Dyke tell his own story. I felt as though I was sitting right in front of him as he told me his life story. Any memoir not narrated by the subject person will not be enjoyable. Reading the book would not have the same affect on me.
I would compare this book to other memoir/autobiographies that I've read or listened to. Most recently would be Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Diahanne Carrol. All of these wonderful actresses also narrated their own books and spoke of full, interesting, humorous, flawed at times lives that makes you think and hate when you've come to the end.
Dick is very expressive and such a kind hearted man and it comes through his narration. He was not monotone and excites the reader. This obviously comes from his work off screen in narration sand early years on radio. I wish he would narrate more books.
The ENTIRE book moved me but especially on parts where he reflected on his life and tried to make himself better and stayed positive even in the midst of the Hollywood life that can get the better of most people. I felt like he is a kindred spirit. Many of his reflections were in tune with how I feel about life now. As a 29 year old African American female, I think that says a lot in itself that I can feel so moved by an 88 year old Caucasian male.
I've loved Dick Van Dyke since I was a child. First it was The Dick Van dyke show on Nick at Nite, then Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and now Diagnosis Murder, Murder 101, guest appearances in TV and movies and revisiting all the old movies I hadn't seen like Bye Bye Birdie and Fitzwilly. Good wholesome family oriented entertainment. Mr. Van Dyke is an inspiration. Please buy this audiobook and/or the book, you will not regret it.
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.
This was a fine biography. Not particularly interesting and not particularly performed well. Just okay.
The Dick Van Dyke Show was my favorite show as a child. Mary Tyler Moore and Van Dyke truly were the perfect combination and the reruns never fail to bring me back to a gentler time.
Perhaps I expected more too much from the author, a master of physical comedy.
He recited his biography like a child standing in front of the class with stage fright. It was disappointing to listen to him drone his way through his life story.
More enthusiasm, more comedy, more of everything in terms of emotion in his voice.
No. He wrote in rather agonizing detail.
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'm an avid audio book "reader," especially while walking my dog. As a result, he is the best informed Standard Poodle in West Seattle.
The man telling the story. He speaks with friendliness, humility, and grace.
Anything to do with the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" and the movies "Mary Poppins" and "Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN."
The warmth in his voice--testament to a life well and fully lived.
Nah, it's a fun book, but I preferred to break it up over a few days--which I did while walking my dog.
I'm a life-long Dick Van Dyke fan, dating to his old sitcom. His memoir scores on several levels--as a fascinating personal story, as an insider's view of the entertainment business across many decades, and as a blueprint for how to balance hard work, fun, and philanthropy. He cites luck and serendipity as key factors in his success--but underlying these are a strong work ethic, strong family, and a great respect for the talented people he's worked with, including Carl Reiner, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, his brother Jerry, and many more. All in all, a very good "read."
I haven't read the print version but I thought Dick Van Dyke's performance was great.
Dick Van Dyke is a really interesting, deep thinker. Not only did I enjoy his stories about his shows and movies, but I appreciated his thoughts on religion and the meaning of life. We could all learn a lot from him.
Some of the reviews I read implied that DVD was too old to be reading at 85 years old, and that his voice sounded weak. I did not find that at all. I am aware that he is old, but his voice is strong and so is his performance.
It definitely pulls you in. Some parts are slower than others but it kept me engaged throughout.
Will probably listen to it again.
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