The Missouri-born actor, singer, writer and comedian famously played cockney chimney sweep Bert in ‘Mary Poppins.’ He also starred in 1960s sitcom ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and cult 1980s TV series ‘Diagnosis: Murder.’ SAG gives its highest honour to an actor it feels fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.” During a career spanning six decades, 86-year-old Van Dyke has been awarded five Emmys, a Tony Award and a Grammy.
“Dick is the consummate entertainer, an enormously talented performer whose work has crossed nearly every major category of entertainment,” the BBC quoted SAG’s Ken Howard as saying. “He sets a high bar for actors. Stage, big screen, small screen, literally everywhere he has worked he has inspired millions of fans and has had a tremendously positive impact on the industry and the world,” he said.
Van Dyke made his Broadway debut in 1959 and a year later was cast in ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ earning a Tony Award and going on to star in the film version. He featured in 1960s sitcom The Dick Van Dyke show opposite Mary Tyler Moore for five seasons, winning three lead actor Emmys. In 1964, he filmed Disney’s musical classic ‘Mary Poppins’ opposite Julie Andrews, which won five Oscars and earned the pair a Grammy.
Other film credits include ‘Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang,’ Warren Beatty’s ‘Dick Tracy’ in 1990 and more recently Ben Stiller comedy ‘Night at the Museum’ and animated feature ‘Curious George.’ The Life Achievement Award honours both career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.
Van Dyke supports several charities and has volunteered at Los Angeles homeless shelter The Midnight Mission for nearly twenty years. The 19th Annual SAG Awards ceremony will take place on January 27 during Hollywood’s awards season.