Dick Van Dyke continues to make waves in the entertainment industry, even at 97. The iconic actor and comedian recently appeared as a contestant on Fox’s hit singing competition show “The Masked Singer,” making history by being the oldest performer ever to appear on the show.
Van Dyke was masked as a gnome. After delivering his rendition of “When You’re Smiling,” he was the first to be eliminated from “The Masked Singer.”
Van Dyke’s gnome costume was elaborate and eye-catching. It included a mossy green cape adorned with leaves, flowers and mushrooms and an accompanying pointed hat. The full face mask had a long red beard with braids and flowers, bushy eyebrows and large, pointed ears.
The judges were shocked and moved to learn his identity.
“Such an honor, we are in the presence of an icon, ladies and gentlemen!” host Nick Cannon said after Van Dyke was unmasked. “This is the most seasoned and decorated entertainer we have had on our show … truly a legend.”
The show shared the moment on Twitter:
— The Masked Singer (@MaskedSingerFOX) February 16, 2023
Van Dyke’s storied carrier as an entertainer started eight decades ago. During World War II, Van Dyke served in the U.S. Army Air Forces, where he worked as a radio announcer and later performed in service shows. In 1960-61, he starred in the original production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” which earned him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He went on to star in many films including “Mary Poppins,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Fitzwilly.” He also starred as Rob Petrie on the acclaimed CBS TV sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” from 1961-1966.
The Grammy, Tony and Emmy award winner has been beloved by audiences since first appearing on television and movie screens. The affection from fans was apparent in the reaction of the audience on “The Masked Singer.” All the judges on the show gave him a standing ovation, and Nicole Scherzinger cried openly, apparently overcome with emotion.
But the icon remains humble to this day.
“When I was young, I really was hoping to make a living,” Van Dyke told People. “What happened to me was such a surprise. The successes I’ve had, I still can’t get over it.”