Legendary television producer and entrepreneur Dick Clark, who helped popularize rock ‘n’ roll with the early music TV show “American Bandstand,” has died, Reuters reports. Clark died early today at 82 after suffering what was described as a massive heart attack.
Clark suffered the attack while he was in St. John’s hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., after undergoing an outpatient procedure last night, TMZ.com reports.
Clark, who became known as the “world’s oldest teenager” because of his longevity and youthful appearance, had been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2004.
The stroke forced him to end his long run as the host of “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” TMZ notes. Clark created that popular TV event in 1972. Although Ryan Seacrest took over as host in 2006, Clark had appeared on the show occasionally since then, making a final appearance in 2011.
The TMZ piece notes: “Clark got his first big break in 1956, hosting what was called ‘Bob Horn’s Bandstand’ … what would later be renamed ‘American Bandstand.’ Clark continued to host and produce ‘American Bandstand’ until 1989.
Among Clark’s many high-profile television jobs, he hosted the Miss Universe pageant from 1990 to 1993, and hosted game shows including “Pyramid” and “Scattergories.”
TMZ adds: “Clark had been inducted into practically every hall of fame on the planet — including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.”
Clark won five Emmys, including a lifetime achievement award, and was the recipient of a Peabody Award.