Celebrity status did not spare Dick Van Dyke from age discrimination 5



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It seems not even the most famous of Hollywood celebrities are safe from age discrimination.

Dick Van Dyke has opened up to the Daily Mirror about some of the age discrimination he’s faced as a 90-year-old.

Some of the things that have been said to the legendary actor will shock you!

Famous for starring in Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Van Dyke said the age discrimination comes down to whether or not people recognise him.

“If I’m recognised I’m treated very nicely, but sometimes if they think I’m just an old guy, I don’t get much attention at all,” he said.

Read more: Dick Van Dyke shows he’s still got it at 90

He recounted the story of walking into a Tommy Hilfiger store and being told by a young salesgirl “I don’t think you’ll find anything you like here”.

Can you imagine that?

Van Dyke also had a similar experience while buying a purse for his 44-year-old wife Arlene Silver.

“I was at a designer handbag shop, and said, ‘Can I see that purse on the shelf?’,” he said.

“And the salesgirl said, ‘Sir, I don’t think you could afford that’”

Read more: At age 90, Dick Van Dyke is dancing again

The legendary actor has described age discrimination as the “last acceptable discrimination”.

“It’s sad because elderly people used to be respected for their experience and wisdom but they get sidelined and it’s too bad,” he said.

So what about when he’s out and about with his younger wife?

Van Dyke revealed he doesn’t get much hassle when they’re out together.

“We get, ‘Is this your daughter?’ That happens a lot, and I’m very proud to say, ‘No, it’s my wife.’,” he said.

“But people have never been insulting to us.”

Read more: 90 years of Dick Van Dyke

You could say Van Dyke has taken growing old with a spoonful of sugar.

Just last week he treated diners to a acapella rendition of the theme song from Chitty Chitty Bang.

As the saying goes, you can’t keep a good man down!

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your age?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. According to a very rude bursar at a Latrobe Valley secondary school I was told that on my 55th birthday I would be considered too old to be an Integration Aide.

  2. Not on my age but interestingly, I’ve had the exact same things said to me upon entering a fashion store where the sizes stopped at 14 or 16…Lets just say that I’m a larger size than that…and it’s happened more than once – approached as I entered the store and told “we wont have anything for you here” and sort of herded out the door. I’ve also been told that I probably won’t be able to afford an item, presumably because if I’m heavy, then I must be poor!! There is a local shop that a friend and I go into just to torment the owner who wont look at us, speak to or acknowledge us and who turns her back on us as though to pretend we aren’t in her shop!! Heavens! What might people think if they see these fat people in her shop…you can almost hear her thinking “leave, leave, please just leave!!” We don’t of course….

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  4. Absolutely admire & enjoy all of Dick Van Dyke`s acting…he is a class act….Age has nothing to do with this.

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