The ever-youthful Dick Clark,who hosted long-running television shows such as "American Bandstand," the game show "Pyramid" and "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," died this morning in Los Angeles of a heart attack. He was 82.
Often called "America's oldest teenager," Clark maintained his youthful looks into his 70s until he suffered a stroke in 2004. Nonetheless he continued to appear on the "New Year's Rockin' Eve" show up until and including this past Dec. 31, 2011, with co-host Ryan Seacrest.
Clark was perhaps best known to a generation of Boomers as host of the "Bandstand" program, where he started in 1956 and helped grow from a regional Philadelphia TV show into a national phenomenon, "American Bandstand."
On the first national broadcast of "American Bandstand," on August 5, 1957, Clark interviewed Elvis Presley.
Though he was implicated but never convicted in the "payola" scandals of 1959, he continued hosting and/or producing "American Bandstand" until 1989. Countless pop stars were introduced to a national audience on the program, including Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Platters, even Madonna.
On radio, Clark created "Rock, Roll & Remember" in 1982, an oldies show named after Clark's 1976 autobiography, in which Clark would profile a different artist from the Rock and Roll era. The run until Clark suffered his stroke.
Clark also hosted the game show "Pyramid" for which he won two Emmys, the annual "Miss USA Pageant" from 1989-1993, and "Miss Universe" from 1990-1993.
According to reports, Clark suffered the heart attack following an outpatient medical procedure, and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.