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Dick Van Dyke, 98, reveals his ‘secret weapon’ for living a long life

Dick Van Dyke has revealed his secret to living a long life, after making history as the oldest actor to win a Daytime Emmy Award.

The 98-year-old Hollywood icon recently shared how he’s been able to stay so youthful in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. After receiving his historic Daytime Emmy nomination for his guest performance on Peacock’s Days of Our Lives, Van Dyke admitted that he has no plans on slowing down – especially when it comes to hitting the gym three days a week.

“Yes, I do. For being this long lived, I really do,” Van Dyke told the outlet, confirming his weekly gym routine. “And I recommend it to everybody. That’s my secret weapon.”

The Mary Poppins star was shocked after learning about his nomination back in April, which he received for his role as amnesiac Timothy Robicheaux on Days of Our Lives. “Am I really the oldest? I didn’t know I was the oldest,” he told ET. “I’ll be darn. I think I’m the last of my generation, really. I’m 98. I have almost all my marbles. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast.”

On Friday, June 7, Van Dyke – who was up against Australian actor Guy Pearce of Amazon Freevee’s Neighbours – received a standing ovation when he accepted his Daytime Emmy on stage at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, California.

“I don’t believe this. I feel like a spy from nighttime television,” he told the audience. “I’m the oldest nominee in history. I can’t believe it. I have been playing old men all my life. If I had known I would live this long I would have taken care of myself.”

Van Dyke has won four Primetime Emmys, including three in the 1960s for his comedy series, The Dick Van Dyke Show. He is also the recipient of a Golden Globe, Tony, and Grammy award.

Dick Van Dyke accepts his Daytime Emmy award alongside his wife, Arlene Silver, on June 7 in Los Angeles, California
Dick Van Dyke accepts his Daytime Emmy award alongside his wife, Arlene Silver, on June 7 in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

Back in 2021, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor showed off his workout routine during an interview with CBS This Morning. Filmed at his home in Malibu, California, Van Dyke demonstrated how he does an ab workout with the use of exercise equipment, saying: “I’m 95 and a lot of my friends won’t do these.”

“The stomach is the core of your whole body. If your stomach’s strong, you’re in good shape,” he said, as he did some sit-ups. Van Dyke explained how his workout routine has kept him in shape and allowed him to keep doing what he loves, adding: “So all you old guys out there, listen to me. I’m telling you, you can keep going. I’m still dancing and singing!”

He’s recently kept busy with an appearance on the US version of The Masked Singer, where he brought judge Nicole Scherzinger to tears after being unmasked as The Gnome. “I love you so much, we love you, the whole world loves you so much. It’s an honor to have you on our show,” she told Van Dyke. “I can’t believe you’re here, I’m trying to play it cool. You look so gorgeous, you look so handsome.”

The Bye Bye Birdie star also proved to fans that it’s “never too late” to pick up a new skill, as he shared a video of himself learning how to play the ukulele.

While hitting the gym three days a week may be his “secret weapon” to a long life, Van Dyke previously revealed that another secret to staying so youthful is his 52-year-old wife, Arlene Silver.

In a February 2023 interview with Yahoo, the Night at the Museum star was asked how he maintains his vivaciousness. “Having a beautiful young wife half my age to take care of me – that works!” he jokingly replied.

Van Dyke credited his wife with helping him maintain a “positive attitude,” as well as being the one to encourage his three-days-a-week gym schedule. “I advise everybody to do that, because that’s what ages people,” he continued. “It’s just a stiffening up and not exercising their muscles and their lungs. Exercise is the answer.”

The couple have been married since 2012. They first met at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006, where Silver was working as a makeup artist and Van Dyke was appearing during the ceremony. At the time, Van Dyke was 81 and Silver was 35, but they didn’t strike up a romance until after his longtime partner Michelle Triola died from lung cancer in 2009.

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