Image of Dick Clark

Dick Clark

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.


Read bio at Wikipedia
Born:
Nov 30, 1929 In Mount Vernon, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
31
First Appeared:
In the series Perry Mason 1957-09-21
Latest Project:
Series Extraordinary People 2003-03-28

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 7 wins & 21 nominations.

Known For
Poster of Futurama
Poster of Friends
Poster of The X-Files
Poster of The Simpsons
Filmography
Extraordinary People Self 1 episode, 2011 2003-03-28
American Idol Unknown 2002-06-11
American Dreams Unknown 2002-09-29
Futurama Unknown 1999-03-28
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction Unknown 1997-05-25
Just Shoot Me! Unknown 1997
The Weird Al Show Unknown 1997-08-13
Behind the Music Unknown 1997-08-17
Recess Unknown 1997-08-31
Dharma & Greg Unknown 1997-09-24
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Unknown 1996-09-27
The Drew Carey Show Unknown 1995-09-13
Pinky and the Brain Unknown 1995-09-09
Friends Unknown 1994-09-22
The Angry Beavers Unknown 1994-09-21
Fantastic Four: The Animated Series Unknown 1994-09-24
The X-Files Unknown 1993-09-10
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Unknown 1992-05-25
Mad About You Unknown 1992-09-23
Blossom Unknown 1990-07-05
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Unknown 1990-09-10
The Simpsons Unknown 1989-12-17
Murphy Brown Unknown 1988-11-14
Muppet Babies Unknown 1984-09-15
Police Squad! Unknown 1982-03-04
ABC Afterschool Specials Unknown 1972-10-04
The Odd Couple Unknown 1970-09-24
The Partridge Family Unknown 1970-09-25
Adam-12 Unknown 1968-09-21
Batman Unknown 1966-01-12
Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21