Legendary funnyman Dick Van Dyke shares top tips for ageing well as he celebrates 97th birthday

Dec 14, 2022
Seemingly immortal Dick Van Dyke opens up about ageing and turning 97. Source: Getty

It’s a special week for Hollywood screen veteran Dick Van Dyke, as the beloved actor celebrates his 97th birthday.

Just days before his birthday on Monday, December 13, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor caught up with the Daily Mail to chat about ageing.

“If I’d known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself!” Van Dyke joked.

When asked to share his secrets to a long and healthy life, the actor said “well, I don’t know, all my friends are dead so I’m not going to complain!” before adding that he has no plans to celebrate this year’s birthday and will be “hiding out”.

Though he gave the Daily Mail cheeky advice for living well, last year Van Dyke appeared on CBS This Morning and credited staying active as his key to ageing well.


“I’m 95, and a lot of my friends won’t do these,” Van Dyke told viewers, as he showed off his workout routine.

“So all you old guys out there, listen to me, I’m telling you, you can keep going for a long [time].

“I’m looking forward to 100.

“George Burns made it, and I’m gonna do it too.”

In his 2015 book titled Keep Moving and Other Tips and Truths About Ageing, Van Dyke claimed that his greatest tip for longevity was movement.

“Keep moving is the main thing. I think I reiterate three or four times in the book,” he told NPR, before adding that the hardest part of ageing was “giving up the thing that you enjoy doing”.

“I can’t handle the tennis court anymore. I can still run and dance and sing. You know, I made a habit of asking other people in their old age: of all the things you enjoyed doing when you were younger that you can’t anymore, what do you miss?

“Some people mention golf or tennis. One woman said, ‘I miss having lunch with the girls.’ But the people who said I wish I had made smarter business decisions, I think they’re missing the point.

“The point is to enjoy.

“You have to pick what you enjoy doing, what fulfils you, what interests you. And I realise that’s not possible for a lot of people.

“As Thoreau said, a lot of people are living lives of quiet desperation. But almost anyone can find that one immersing hobby or pastime that they love to do.”

Van Dyke also credits his good health to his positive attitude, saying it’s in his “nature to be optimistic” and that he’s naturally “one of those people who get up on the right side of the bed in the morning.”

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