Kennedy Center to Honor Dick Van Dyke and Others at Scaled-Down Events

Kennedy Center to Honor Dick Van Dyke and Others at Scaled-Down Events

After Dick Van Dyke got the call informing him that he had been selected as a Kennedy Center honoree, he did exactly what he was told not to do: He called his family to tell them the good news.

And why not? He’s a 95-year-old elder statesman of show business whose eponymous television show is considered to have helped shape American sitcoms for decades.

“My wife took the call and the instructions were, ‘Congratulations but do not tell anybody,’” Van Dyke said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “You can’t do that! I called all my relatives right away. I couldn’t hold that in.”

Van Dyke now adds to his résumé one of the country’s highest artistic honors. The other recipients, announced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, include the singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; the country music star Garth Brooks; the actress, choreographer and producer Debbie Allen; and the violinist Midori.

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