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Dick Clark

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Dick Clark was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York on November 30, 1929 to Julia Fuller and Richard Augustus Clark. He had one older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. At the age of 16, Clark got his first job in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in Utica, New York, which was owned by his uncle and managed by his father. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to weatherman before becoming a radio announcer. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in business administration, Clark began working at several radio and television stations before landing at WFIL radio in 1952. While working at the station, Clark became a substitute host for Bob Horn's Bandstand, an afternoon program where teenagers danced to popular music, broadcast by WFIL's affiliated television station. In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving, giving Clark the perfect opportunity to step in as the full-time host. After acquiring nationwide distribution the newly reformatted program, now titled "American Bandstand", premiered on ABC on August 5, 1957. In addition to the name change, Clark added interviews with artists (starting with Elvis Presley), lip-sync performances, and "Rate-a-Record," allowing teens to judge the songs on the show - and giving birth to the popular phrase, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." Clark also established a formal dress code, mandating dresses and skirts for the women and a coat and tie for the men. But perhaps the most impactful change that Clark made to the show was ending "American Bandstand's" all-white policy, allowing African American artists to perform on the show. Under Clark's influence, "Bandstand" became one of the most successful and longest-running musical programs, featuring artists including Chuck Berry, the Doors, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, and Smokey Robinson. Sonny and Cher, The Jackson 5, Prince, and Aerosmith were among the influential artists and bands that made their television debuts on "Bandstand", which is also credited with helping to make America more accepting of rock 'n' roll. With the success of "American Bandstand", Clark became more invested in the music publishing and recording businesses, and began managing artists, hosting live sock hops, and arranging concert tours. But in 1960, when the United States Senate began investigating "payola", the practice in which music producing companies paid broadcasting companies to favor their products, Clark became caught up in the scandal. The investigation found he had partial copyrights to over 150 songs, many of which were featured on his show. Clark denied he was involved in any way, but admitted to accepting a fur and jewelry from a record company president. In the end, the Senate could not find any illegal actions by Clark, but ABC asked Clark to either sell his shares in these companies or leave the network so there was no conflict of interest. He chose to sell and continue on as host of "American Bandstand", which was unaffected by the scandal. In 1964, Clark moved Bandstand from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and became more involved in television production. Under his company Dick Clark Productions, he produced such shows as "Where the Action Is", "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes", and more recently, "So You Think You Can Dance", as well as made-for-television movies including "Elvis", "The Birth of the Beatles", "Wild Streets", and "The Savage Seven". Clark also hosted television's "$10,000 Pyramid", "TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes" (with co-host Ed McMahon), "Scattergories", and "The Other Half". Clark also had several radio programs, including "The Dick Clark National Music Survey", "Countdown America", and "Rock, Roll & Remember". In 1972, he produced and hosted the very first edition of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve", a musical program where Clark counted down until the New Year ball dropped in Times Square, featuring taped performances from musical artists. "New Year's Rockin' Eve" soon became a cultural tradition, airing on ABC every year with Clark as host (except in 1999 when ABC aired "ABC 2000: Today", a news milestone program hosted by Peter Jennings). In December 2004, Clark suffered a minor stroke and was unable to host, so Regis Philbin stepped in as a substitute. The following year, Clark returned as co-host alongside primary host Ryan Seacrest. Many were worried about Clark due to his slurred and breathless speech, and he admitted on-air he was still recovering but that he wouldn't have missed the broadcast for the world. The following year, Seacrest became "New Year's Rockin' Eve's" primary host, but Clark always returned for the countdown. Clark has received several notable awards including four Emmy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and the Peabody Award in 1999. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976, The Radio Hall of Fame in 1990, Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Clark had been in St. John's hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing an outpatient procedure the night of April 17, 2012. Clark suffered a massive heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he died the next morning of April 18, 2012.  See full bio on IMDb »

Dick Clark's Frat -- Forget Kegs, We're Using $1 Million to Fix Our House

Dick Clark's Frat
Forget Kegs, We're Using $1 Mil To Fix Our House

Put away the red solo cups ... Dick Clark's college frat will NOT be using the TV icon's $1 million donation to throw the biggest kegger in history ... they're planning to use it to gussy… READ MORE >

Dick Clark Estate -- Donating $1 Million to College Frat

Dick Clark Estate
Donating $1 Million To College Frat

The ghost of Dick Clark is on double secret probation ... because TMZ has learned the legend earmarked $1 MILLION of his fortune for his college frat ... and that's a lot of beer.According to… READ MORE >

- 2141 days ago
Dick Clark's Flintstones House -- Price Slashed Because No One Wants It

Dick Clark's Flintstones House
Price Slashed 'Cause No One Wants It

Dick Clark's Flintstones-themed house in Malibu is apparently an unsellable freak of architecture -- because after nearly a year on the market ... no one's bought it ... and now, the asking price… READ MORE >

- 2171 days ago
Ryan Seacrest -- New Year's Eve Will be a CELEBRATION of Dick Clark

Ryan Seacrest
New Year's Eve Will be a Celebration of Dick Clark

Ryan Seacrest tells TMZ ... the countdown to 2013 will be a special one, because he'll be honoring his late friend and mentor ... the great Dick Clark. Seacrest was leaving a birthday lunch at… READ MORE >

- 2220 days ago
Dick Clark Death Certificate -- Prostate Surgery Before Heart Attack

Dick Clark Death Certificate
Prostate Surgery Before Heart Attack

Dick Clark underwent prostate surgery the day before he died from a heart attack ... this according to the death certificate obtained by TMZ.According to the death certificate, doctors performed a… READ MORE >

- 2466 days ago
Dick Clark Dies -- Staff Informed of Mogul's Death at 'Emotional' Office Meeting

Dick Clark
Staff Informed of Mogul's Death at 'Emotional' Office Meeting

The staff at Dick Clark Productions learned about the death of their fearless leader directly from the honchos at the company ... during an "emotional" company meeting hours before the news got… READ MORE >

- 2470 days ago
Dick Clark Dead -- Dies from 'Massive Heart Attack' at 82

Dick Clark
Dead at 82 'Massive Heart Attack'

Dick Clark -- famed TV producer and "New Year's Rockin' Eve" host -- died from a massive heart attack this morning ... TMZ has learned.Clark's rep tells TMZ, the TV icon had been in St. John's… READ MORE >

- 2471 days ago
President Obama -- Dick Clark Changed Television ... FOREVER

President Obama
Dick Clark Changed Television ... FOREVER

President Barack Obama has released a statement on the passing of Dick Clark ... praising the entertainment mogul as an innovator who "reshaped the television landscape forever." "With… READ MORE >

- 2471 days ago
Denis Leary ROASTS Dick Clark -- 'Leather-faced Syrup-Voiced Lizard Person'

Denis Leary
Dick Clark Was a 'Leather-Faced Syrup-Voiced Lizard Person'

Dick Clark's only been dead a few hours ... but the roasting has already begun ... this time, it's Denis Leary leading the charge. Leary went to his Twitter a few minutes ago and wrote, "With Dick… READ MORE >

- 2471 days ago
Dick Clark -- Candlelight Vigil at American Bandstand Theater

Dick Clark
Candlelight Vigil at American Bandstand Theater

Dick Clark will be honored tonight with a candlelight vigil outside of the theater he founded in Branson, Missouri ... TMZ has learned. A rep for the theater tells us ... the staff, along with… READ MORE >

- 2471 days ago
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