Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, by Dick Van Dyke

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir, by Dick Van Dyke

I've been a fan of Dick Van Dyke for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid watching The Dick Van Dyke Show never failed to make me laugh, and Mary Poppins and Bye Bye Birdie are perennial favorites of mine (although as I grew older I admit I became more interested in watching Ann Margret than Dick Van Dyke—va-va-voom!). The autobiography talks a lot about his entertainment career, and Van Dyke's trademark humor is prevalent both in the language used and the anecdotes shared. He is light on his family details but he is a very private person so that isn't all that surprising. He does delve into his alcoholism and divorce rather frankly, though, so it isn't a fluff piece by any means. As might be expected with his sunny and outgoing disposition, Van Dyke has a healthy approach to life and a similarly healthy respect for his talent. "I've been lucky my whole life. I have worked with extraordinary people and always felt as if my work was play. I have also been fortunate that people have liked what I do, and as a result, they've liked me. I've tried never to take that for granted, to appreciate every compliment, kiss, and handshake, because I can imagine the opposite." Words to live by, and Dick Van Dyke does.

First Sentence:
It was nighttime, February 1943, and I was standing next to my mother, thinking about the war in Europe.

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