Dick Van Dyke lauded in Kennedy Center Honors

95 year old star is joined by Debbie Allen, Joan Baez & more.

Veteran showbiz star Dick Van Dyke, 95, was venerated at the annual Kennedy Centre Honors in Washington D.C.

Joined by Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks, violinist Midori, the artists were honoured in scaled-back event with about 120 people at tables at the Kennedy Center’s opera house. Gloria Estefan hosted proceedings.

Julie Andrews introduced Van Dyke, whose credits include The Dick Van Dyke Show, Diagnosis Murder, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bye Bye Birdie and Night at the Museum.

She compared him to his famed chimney sweep character in Mary Poppins.

“Like his character Bert in that movie, Dick seems to have found the secret to happiness, and like Bert, Dick is many things: He’s an artist, a one-man band, a profound philosopher, a high-stepping showman and spreader of charm. Good luck does rub off when he shakes hands with you,” she said.

Bryan Cranston called Van Dyke his “boyhood idol and an inspiration in becoming an actor,” while Lin-Manuel Miranda said: “Spend five minutes with Dick Van Dyke, and you’re more alive than you were before. He’s the kind of performing legend you hope to meet one day and say, ‘Thank you for showing us how it should be done.’”

Meanwhile Shonda Rhimes called dancer-choreographer-director-producer Debbie Allen “an inspiration and a symbol of power.”

“She was one of those pivotal forces in the world who made feel like I could be whoever I wanted to be,” said Rhimes. “Debbie’s vision is to create opportunity for talented people who might otherwise not have been given a chance.”

Vanessa Hudgens performed the title song from Fame, the 1982-87 series on which Allen starred and served as choreographer.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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