No matter what the age or generation, starting in the 1950’s, everyone knew who Dick Clark was. He was a household name for baby boomers, and a key interviewer to some of the world’s most talented and acclaimed artists. One interview, in particular, has stood above the others. He interviewed Madonna, after her appearance and performance on American Bandstand. When she was asked by Clark what her goals and dreams for her future in entertainment included, she said she wanted to rule the world.
At the time of his death, he was 82 years old. He died while attending St. John’s Hospital, as an outpatient, in Santa Monica. The official cause of death was stated as a heart attack.
Clark stood out and made a good impression early on in his career due to his good looks and low-maintenance personality. He started hosting Bandstand in 1956, which he became well-known for. Clark also made a name for himself as an affluent TV producer, under the name of Dick Clark Productions. Dick Clark Productions helped produce such hits as Bandstand, Practical Jokes, TV’s Bloopers and So You Think You Can Dance. His family-friendly programming made it possible for the entire family to watch TV together, so these shows helped tie several generations together.
The work he put into these shows garnered Dick Clark four Emmys and a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also honored at the 2012 Daytime Emmy Awards. Clark had the distinction of being inducted in the Rock and Roll hall of fame, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences hall of fame.
Clark was also very successful in the game show area. Pyramid, the wildly popular and long-running game show, was produced by Dick Clark. His work on this show brought him nine Emmy Awards in the Best Game Show category. No other game show, with the exception of Jeopardy, has ever produced so many awards.
Clark hosted the original game show, The $10,000 Pyramid, when it ran in from 1974-1980. He went on to host the $20,000 Pyramid show, the $25,000 Pyramid, the $50,000 Pyramid and the $100,000 Pyramid.
Perhaps Clark is best known for his work with Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show. This started in 1972, and eventually became synonymous with the American New Year’s Eve celebration, nation-wide. His spot, as host, has been taken by Ryan Seacrest.
Dick Clark was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., in 1929. His career took off when he moved to Philadelphia in 1952. He started as a substitute host for Bob Horn’s Bandstand, but took the position over, regularly, in 1956. With his death, the Clark name will be continued on with his widow, Kari Clark, and the three Clark children, RAC, Cindy and Duane.Dick Clark was well-respected and will remain a permanent icon in the history of American music culture. Many celebrities have tweeted about their personal experiences with Dick Clark, or the way he inspired, influenced and taught them.