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My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke

Posted by Caitie F on December 9, 2013

Title: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business9580315
Author: Dick Van Dyke
Hardcover: 287 pages
Pub Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Crown
Rating: +++

Summary from publisher:

Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles.

His trailblazing television program, The Dick Van Dyke Show (produced by Carl Reiner, who has written the foreword to this memoir), was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s and introduced another major television star, Mary Tyler Moore. But Dick Van Dyke was also an enormously engaging movie star whose films, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, have been discovered by a new generation of fans and are as beloved today as they were when they first appeared. Who doesn’t know the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?”

A colorful, loving, richly detailed look at the decades of a multilayered life, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, will enthrall every generation of reader, from baby-boomers who recall when Rob Petrie became a household name, to all those still enchanted by Bert’s “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” This is a lively, heartwarming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a “simple song-and-dance man,” but who is, in every sense of the word, a classic entertainer.


I am a big fan of Mary Poppins and this Dick Van Dyke is one of the most talented performers ever, so I really wanted to read his memoir. Celebrity memoirs aren’t always so interesting, and his was just okay.

I loved reading about the different projects he worked on and what it was like. He worked with great people and had a lot of fun. Reading about the creative process was fascinating and why I read the book. Some highlights were Bye Bye Birdie (the musical), obviously The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Mary Poppins. You could feel his joy though the pages and that was wonderful.

Another great thing is that he didn’t give dirt on anyone, which I really respect. He only said one thing negative about a person in the whole book and it was appropriate. He was also honest about himself and his struggles. He was also very open about the evolution of his faith and that really made me like him a lot more.

Yet there were entire chapters that didn’t really say anything. I was hoping for more insights on media and life, but it wasn’t quite there. When it was, it was great.

That said, if you like him as a performer, you should read it. It was entertaining and interesting, just sometimes slow.

Have you read any good celebrity memoirs lately?


3 Responses to “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke”

  1. […] Condie 3. The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko 4. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen 5. My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke 6.  How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff Could not finish this one 7. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby […]

  2. I love Dick Van Dyke – too bad the book’s not better.

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