Wilson Post Blogs
Dick Van Dyke living a ‘Lucky Life’
Dear Ken: What is Dick Van Dyke up to these days?
Van Dyke, who was born in West Plains, Mo., and grew up in Danville, Ill., turns 86 in December. Earlier this year he co-starred on the stage with his brother, Jerry, in “The Sunshine Boys,” and he has a singing group, The Vantastix. “I’m always announcing my retirement. I'm still not retired,” says the man with four Emmys, a Grammy and a Tony. He exercises daily, is proud of his four kids: Chris, Barry, Stacy and Carrie Beth. And he has a girlfriend about 45 years less his age. Of his classic “Dick Van Dyke Show,” he says, “It was just a party for five years. There was so much creativity. I never had so much fun.” Earlier this year he released his autobiography, “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business.” TV Land recently began airing his 1961-1966 TV series at 6 p.m. weekdays as the show celebrates its 50th anniversary. “During those five years, the happiest ever, we were like otters at play. Carl (Reiner) chose to wrap it while we were on top. Who does that today? And how many 50-year-old shows still get this much attention?” he said. The sitcom revolved around Rob Petrie (Van Dyke), a comedy writer for the fictional “The Alan Brady Show,” and his life at home with wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) and his life at the office with his wacky coworkers Sally (Rose Marie) and Buddy (Morey Amsterdam). Carl Reiner was the creator, head writer and producer for the series.
Dear Ken: Why is Christopher Meloni no longer on “Law & Order: SVU”?
Meloni, 50, who played Detective Elliot Stabler for 12 seasons and 272 episodes, departed the NBC-TV series after he and the network failed to come to agreement on a new contract. There are signs that Mariska Hargitay, who portrays Olivia Benson on the series, may be gone after this season. Hargitay said about working with Meloni, “He inspired me every day with his integrity, his extraordinary talent and his commitment to the truth. I love him deeply and will miss him terribly. I’m so excited to see what he’ll do next.” Meloni has been filming “Man of Steel,” a new Superman flick set for release the summer of 2013.
Dear Ken: What’s the background on Jane Levy, the star of “Suburgatory”?
Levy, 21, grew up in Northern California and attended Goucher College in Maryland for a year before going to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. She played Mandy on the Showtime TV series “Shameless.” In her new TV series, she plays Tessa, a 16-year-old who moves with her father (Jeremy Sisto) from Manhattan to the suburbs. Levy hopes suburbanites won’t be offended by the show’s portrait of the ’burbs. “I’m from the suburbs. and where I’m from didn’t necessarily have people like you see in Suburgatory, but along those lines. and I think people will laugh at themselves.”