Photo Credit: Associated Press
American icon and legendary television figure Dick Clark died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday morning. He was 82.
During his heyday in the 1950s, Clark rose to fame and influential prowess as the host and figurehead of the seminal music variety show “American Bandstand” whose myriad of rock and television brought countless bands from The Jackson 5 to the Beastie Boys into the living rooms of millions across America.
His agent, Paul Shefrin, has said that Clark suffered a massive heart attack and had been coping with health issues steming from his 2004 stroke.
During the later years of Clark’s life he had become as synonymous with New Year’s Eve as he was with rock n roll, hosting his annual “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve” even as his health declined.
Along with his two most popular endeavors, Clark was also responsible for the well known gameshow Pyramid, whose run from 1973 to 2004 (with Clark as the original host) garnered it nine Daytime Emmys, with only Jeopardy receiving more.
At a time when there was no youth culture to be heard of, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand did just that, creating a pop culture phenomenon as well as arguably the most influential musical endeavor in the world of television. Over the years he had featured acts from across the musical spectrum, a variable who’s who of rock and pop including Madonna, Ritchie Valens, David Bowie, The Monkees, Los Lobos, Buffalo Springfield, and so on.
He is survived by his wife, Kari Wigton; three children, Richard, Duane and Cindy; and two grandchildren.