Dick Clark, the long-time television producer and host of American pop culture hit shows such as “American Bandstand”, “Bloopers”, and ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”, passed away this morning from a massive heart attack at age 82 at a Santa Monica hospital.
The entertainment icon, who was once nicknamed “America’s Oldest Teenager”, suffered from Type-2 diabetes and survived a debilitating stroke in 2004, forcing him to hand over the show that year to Regis Philbin. In 2006, Clark announced that host Ryan Seacrest would take over hosting duties for “New Year’s Rockin Eve”, but Clark remained at the stroke of midnight for the last six years to herald in a new year to millions of viewers. His last public appearance was at this year’s “New Year’s Rockin Eve”, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary.
In the 1950’s, Clark – then a disc jockey – started “Bandstand”, a program where teenagers danced on the show to new singles and hits, revolutionizing the way Americans viewed pop music. By the 1960’s and 70’s, he produced and hosted several game shows and music specials, cementing his status and pop culture icon.
He is survived by his wife and three children.