Legendary Host, Producer Dick Clark Dies at 82

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

SANTA MONICA, California -- Dick Clark, whose boyish looks and broadcasting charm on "American Bandstand" launched a six-decade career in music and broadcasting, died today in a Santa Monica, California hospital. He was 82.

Spokesman Paul Shefrin said Clark suffered a massive heart attack Wednesday morning at Saint John's hospital in Santa Monica, after he was admitted for an outpatient procedure on Tuesday night.

There wasn't anyone in the music industry who didn't know him, or a star who didn't want to appear with him on "Bandstand" when the show made him a star on WFIL-TV in Philadelphia. The show ran for 30 years from 1957 till 1987. But it was his voice and smarts that helped him create dc Productions (Dick Clark Productions.)

With his own company churning out shows, Dick could host a wide variety of programs and put his money into awards shows that generated big money and ratings. Some of them were created by the production company to bring American fans in as a part of the entertainment business.

In 1974, at ABC's request, Clark created the American Music Awards after the network lost the broadcast rights to the Grammy Awards.

Dick's illustrious career included two runs of the hugely popular "Pyramid" game shows. Dick hosted them for so long, first on ABC, then on to CBS in the 80s, that the prize money kept up with inflation, from $10,000 to $25,000, included in the title of the shows.

His late friend, Ed McMahon, joined Dick in their big-rated "Bloopers" specials -- another favorite produced by Clark. McMahon owed his connection to Johnny Carson to his friendship with Clark, who got them together from Ed's very successful run as a pitchman and announcer in Philadelphia.

Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 which slurred his speech, but didn't prevent him from appearing in his best-known gig into the new millenium.

Even last December, Dick Clark hosted what would be his final "Rockin' New Year's Eve with Dick Clark," another annual ritual with Clark having the honors of counting down the to New Year. His wife, Kari, kissed Dick at midnight going into 2012, in what would be his final appearance into a New Year.


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