Richard “Dick” Clark, the legendary radio and TV host, passed away today (April 18) of a massive heart attack. He was 82 years old.
According to TMZ, the longtime host of “American Bandstand” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” had been in a Los Angeles hospital for an outpatient procedure when the heart attack happened.
Clark suffered a major stroke back in 2004, forcing him to retire from “Rockin’ Eve,” which he had hosted since 1972. He had been known as “America’s Oldest Teenager”. He is most famous for his time with “American Bandstand”, “$25,000 Pyramid”, and “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes”.
According to mtv.com, it was “Bandstand” that helped Clark stake a claim as one of the people who helped put rock and roll on the map, and, more importantly, into people’s homes on TV, as it was a new medium at the time. He started on the show as a fill-in, but it quickly gained popularity while he was the host and he ended up becoming the full-time guy. The show went national on ABC as “American Bandstand” and became a sensation, helping to advance the careers of dozens of early rock stars such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry thanks to his “rate-a-record” segment.
According to ABC News, the Museum of Broadcast Communication calculated that Dick Clark Productions made more than 7,500 hours of TV programming, including more than 30 series, 250 specials and 20 TV and big screen movies. That amount of material not only brought Clark untold millions of followers, but also earned him induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Emmys, Grammys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
As Clark himself would have said it with his signature catchphrase, “For now, Dick Clark … so long.”
You will be missed.