Ok, ok, Dick Van Dyke may not be your idea of what constitutes a classic movie actor of sufficient stature to be the subject of our Monday Quiz.
But an argument can be made that he was at his peak a nimble and droll performer whose movies during the 1960’s include some of the most durable titles ever. In other words, there definitely was a classic movie title or two in the mix.
Just to review, Van Dyke, who will be 89 in December, has rolled up more than 70 movie and tv credits over nearly 50 years of performing, most conspicuously on tv where he was one of the mediums most appealing stars. Be that as it may, we are confining our focus today largely to his movie work.
Just how much do you know about Dick Van Dyke? That’s the cue for our Monday Quiz.(Answers due tomorrow.)
1) Question: Van Dyke started his career on network television where he was assigned to the CBS Morning Show. He was promptly accused of firing which one of these big television names? a) Gary Moore; b) Charles Collingwood; c) Arthur Godfrey; or d) Walter Cronkite.
2) Question: What did actor Lee Marvin and Van Dyke have in common? a) Both struggled with alcoholism; b) Both lived in Tucson, Az.; c) They shared the same woman; or d) Both shared the same agent.
3) Question: Van Dyke was caught up in an embrassing sex scandal involving a European actress who was well known in Hollywood. Who is she? a) Michele Morgan; b) Brigittte Bardot; c) Elke Sommer or d) Senta Berger.
4) Question: Although he would always say nice things about her publicly, Van Dyke absolutely did not get along with his Mary Poppins costar Julie Andrews. a) True; or b) False?
5) Question: Van Dyke originally did not wish to make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, his popular 1968 family comedy because: a) Julie Andrews was in the cast; b) He didn’t like the script; c) He felt he was being underpaid; or d) Was in bad health, afflicted with severe arthritis.
6) Question: What broke up Van Dyke’s first marriage of over 35 years? a) His drinking problems; b) his affair with a European beauty; c) his decision to pay a six figure sum to a lover; or d) a range of the usual marital differences.
7) Question: Van Dyke nursed a grudge for a while against actress Faye Dunaway. Why? a) The actress refused his romantic overtures; b) She forced the retaking of a difficult scene that was highlighted by a strong Van Dyke performance; c) She neglected to repay a loan Van Dyke had given her; d) She objected to the presence of Van Dyke’s lover on the movie set.
8) Question: The hit song, A Spoonful of Sugar, almost didn’t make it into the Mary Poppins film because Van Dyke disliked it so, calling the tune “corny.” a) True or b) False.
9) Question: Van Dyke publicly came out as an alcoholic in the mid-70’s. He’s never drank a drop since. a) True; or b) false.
10) Question: Can you identify the classic movie comedian who most influenced Van Dyke? a) Harold Loyd; b) Charlie Chaplin; c) Oliver Hardy; or d) Stan Laurel?