Pop Culture

At age 90, Dick Van Dyke teaches Al Roker all the right moves

Dick Van Dyke is the 90-year-old we all hope we'll be one day.

Spry, married to a much younger woman, and still happy to show off his dancing moves, Van Dyke is the star of beloved films ("Bye Bye Birdie") and classic TV ("The Dick Van Dyke Show") alike.

But there's one classic in particular for which he has a special attachment. "There was something about 'Mary Poppins' that was ... something magical was going on," he told TODAY's Al Roker on Thursday. "It had something, a life of its own, and we just knew it was gonna be good."

ullstein bild / ullstein bild via Getty Images
Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice in 1964's "Mary Poppins."

MORE: Dick Van Dyke leads flash mob in epic 'Mary Poppins' sing-along for 90th birthday

In the 1964 Disney musical, Van Dyke played Bert, a chimney sweep, jack of all trades and friend to Mary. And boy, could he dance! But now that a sequel starring Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Lin-Manuel Miranda is in the works, what does he think?

You might be surprised: "Sequels traditionally aren't very good," he said. "I have some doubts. But I talked to the director [Rob Marshall] and they said ... it will be an homage."

He also said that he was asked to come on as an old banker at the end of the film and do a little song and dance, "Which I'd love to do!" he said. He even hinted that Julie Andrews (the original Mary) might make an appearance, too! (We've heard rumors, but nothing solid yet.)

  • Slideshow Photos

    Nbc / NBCUniversal

    Image: FILE: Dick Van Dyke Honored With SAG Lifetime Achievement Award: A Look Back

    Dick Van Dyke

    From his long-running TV comedy to his starring film roles, the veteran entertainer has done it all.

  • Image: FILE: Dick Van Dyke Honored With SAG Lifetime Achievement Award: A Look Back

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Meet your host, Dick Van Dyke

    In 1987, Dick Van Dyke hosted the AFI Comedy Special on NBC. The special showcased sketches from recently discovered comedy writers.

    NBC via Getty Images / NBC via Getty Images
  • 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Newlyweds!

    At the age of 86, Van Dyke married Arlene Silver, his 40-year-old makeup artist. The two attended the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2012.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Mary Tyler Moore, Rachael Ray, Dick Van Dyke

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Rob and Laura, reunited

    Mary Tyler Moore, left, reunites with Van Dyke, her co-star on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," on the New York set of "The Rachel Ray Show" on May 5, 2011.

    The Rachael Ray Show via AP / The Rachael Ray Show via AP
  • Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences' "Father's Day Salute To TV Dads"

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Father and sons

    Van Dyke poses with his actor sons, from left, Barry, Carey and Shane, upon their arrival at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' "Father's Day Salute to TV Dads" in North Hollywood on June 18, 2009.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'Night at the Museum'

    Van Dyke's film career has been a healthy one. Here, he stars with Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs in a scene from "Night at the Museum."

    ©20thCenturyFox/courtesy Everett / ©20thCenturyFox/courtesy Everett
  • Image:

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Save this dance

    Moore and Van Dyke reprise their roles as Laura and Rob Petrie in this scene from the "Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited." The reunion show aired May 10, 2004.

    AP / AP
  • Disney's "Mary Poppins" 40th Anniversary Edition DVD Launch Party - Arrivals

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'Mary Poppins' anniversary

    Van Dyke and his "Mary Poppins" co-star Julie Andrews celebrate the film's 40th Anniversary Edition DVD release party at El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2004.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Look back at 'Becker'

    Ted Danson and Van Dyke headlined the TV series "Becker," which ran from 1998-2004.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • MOORE VAN DYKE

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Whipped into action

    Not your average press shot! Moore and Van Dyke go the S&M route in a 1995 photo shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair magazine's "TV Hall of Fame" issue.

    Vanity Fair via AP / Vanity Fair via AP
  • Image: FILE: Dick Van Dyke Honored With SAG Lifetime Achievement Award: A Look Back

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Is there a doctor in the house?

    Another notch on Van Dyke's TV belt was his stint as Dr. Mark Sloan in the CBS crime drama "Diagnosis Murder." The series, in which a doctor solved crimes in his spare time, aired from 1993 to 2001.

    CBS via Getty Images / CBS via Getty Images
  • Image: FILE: Dick Van Dyke Honored With SAG Lifetime Achievement Award: A Look Back

    Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Hollywood star

    Van Dyke was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993. If you look closely, you can spot a typo: His name is spelled "Vandyke." It was later fixed.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'Golden' guy

    The hit show "Golden Girls" (starring Bea Arthur) played host to Van Dyke in 1989. He did a guest spot in the episode, "Love Under the Big Top" which might explain that clown nose.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Talking heads

    Carl Reiner, right, guest stars on the short-lived 1976 series "Van Dyke and Company."

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'The Morning After'

    Based on the novel, "The Morning After" was a made-for-television movie about a public relations writer with a serious drinking problem. At the same time Van Dyke starred in the 1974 film, he admitted that he, too, was an alcoholic and was seeking treatment.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'The New Dick Van Dyke Show'

    Airing on CBS from 1971-74, "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" -- and Angela Powell and Hope Lange -- was Van Dyke's first series return to television after "The Dick Van Dyke Show" ended.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'The Comic'

    Van Dyke teamed with Carl Reiner, his "Dick Van Dyke Show" writer, for Reiner's film "The Comic" in 1969. Van Dyke played a silent-film comic with an ego problem.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Disney days

    Van Dyke stars with Sally Ann Howes, Adrian Hall and Heather Ripley in the successful Disney musical "Chitty Chitty Bang" in 1968.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'Divorce American Style'

    Van Dyke starred with Debbie Reynolds in the 1967 comedy "Divorce American Style," which followed a couple teetering on the edge of divorce, only to find out single life is pretty lonely.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'The Carol Burnett Show'

    In 1977, Van Dyke had an 11-episode run on "The Carol Burnett Show," and is shown here with, from left: Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry and Carol Burnett.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    'Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.'

    One of Van Dyke's less successful films was "Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N." The comedy about a Navy pilot who becomes a castaway was released in 1966.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Grammy winner

    Van Dyke received a Grammy Award in 1964 along with Julie Andrews for the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Emmy duo

    Van Dyke and Moore pose backstage at the Palladium in Los Angeles with the Emmys for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" at the 16th annual awards show on May 25, 1964. They won the best actor and actress in a series.

    AP / AP
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    Music man

    One of Van Dyke's earliest Broadway roles was as Albert Peterson, the lead in "Bye Bye Birdie." It ran on Broadway from 1960-61.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Dick Van Dyke

    of

    American icon

    Van Dyke will be recogized for his decades of work on the stage, television and in film at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 27, 2013.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection

MORE: Dick Van Dyke opens up about alcoholism: 'It took me a long time to get over it'

Van Dyke admits that he has some regrets, including about his days of active alcoholism. "I hated it," he said. But he's way over that, and on to the best part of his years, he adds.

"I'm married to someone less than half my age," he said when asked about his secret to longevity (he wed Arlene Silver in 2012.) "Everybody said it wouldn't work, but she keeps me young, and I keep teaching her things."

Speaking of which, be sure to see what the icon taught Al in terms of dance steps!

TODAY

"The secret is not to slow down," said Van Dyke. "You've got to keep moving."

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

TOP