April 19, 2012

USA: Dick Clark, 'the world's oldest teenager,' dead at 82

SYDNEY, New South Wales / The Sydney Morning Herald / Life & Style / April 19, 2012

Veteran television personality Dick Clark dies at age 82 from a heart attack. 
Dick Clark, the ever-youthful television host and tireless entrepreneur who helped bring rock ’n’ roll into the mainstream on American Bandstand, and later produced and hosted a vast range of programming from game shows to the year-end countdown from Times Square on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, has died. He was 82.
Spokesman Paul Shefrin said Clark had a heart attack on Wednesday morning at Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica, a day after he was admitted for an outpatient procedure.
Clark had continued performing even after he suffered a stroke in 2004 that affected his ability to speak and walk.
Long dubbed ‘‘the world’s oldest teenager’’ because of his boyish appearance, Clark bridged the rebellious new music scene and traditional show business, and equally comfortable whether chatting about music with Sam Cooke or bantering with Ed McMahon about TV bloopers. He thrived as the founder of Dick Clark Productions, supplying movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits: The $25,000 Pyramid, TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes and the American Music Awards.
For a time in the 1980s, he had shows on all three networks and was listed among the Forbes 400 of wealthiest Americans. Clark also was part of radio as partner in the United Stations Radio Network, which provided programs - including Clark’s - to thousands of stations.
‘‘There’s hardly any segment of the population that doesn’t see what I do,’’ Clark told The Associated Press in a 1985 interview. ‘‘It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, ’I love your show,’ and I have no idea which one they’re talking about.’’
The original American Bandstand was one of network TV’s longest-running series as part of ABC’s daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. It later aired for a year in syndication and briefly on the USA Network. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Madonna. The show’s status as an American cultural institution was solidified when Clark donatedBandstand’s original podium and backdrop to the Smithsonian Institution.
In 2004, Clark announced plans for a revamped version ofAmerican Bandstand. The show, produced with American Idol creator Simon Fuller, was to feature a host other than Clark.
He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994 and served as spokesman for the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Clark, twice divorced, had a son, Richard Augustus II, with first wife Barbara Mallery and two children, Duane and Cindy, with second wife Loretta Martin. He married Kari Wigton in 1977.   
- AP
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