The 97-year-old has built an impressive resume over his decades-long career, but until now he had never appeared in a soap opera. Van Dyke revealed in an interview that he will portray a mystery man with amnesia.
Van Dyke shared that “Days of Our Lives” star Drake Hogestyn, who goes to the same gym as the Mary Poppins star, helped him land the role.
“I said, ‘Don’t you have any parts for old people? Come on give me one.’ And he took me seriously and got me a part!” Van Dyke said.
He also talked about how different his new role is from what he’s played in the past.
“I have played old men before, but comedy old men,” He said. “First time I’ve ever just played my 97-year-old self.”
Van Dyke’s longtime friend and fellow entertainer Carol Burnett, 89, has some tips to share. Burnett, who guest-starred on “All My Children” in 2011, told Van Dyke:
“Make sure you know all your lines because they don’t do retakes. If anything goes wrong, you’re stuck.”
On the show, celebrities hide their identities behind elaborate masks while they sing. A judging panel attempts to guess who they are based on their voice and some carefully crafted clues.
Van Dyke sang Billie Holiday’s “When You’re Smiling” (which was also recorded by Frank Sinatra) while inside of a gnome costume. Van Dyke’s big reveal brought the panel to tears.
The Gnome’s reveal turned panelist Nicole Scherzinger into a puddle of tears. “I love Dick Van Dyke,” Nicole Scherzinger cried. Ken Jeong told the actor, “You’re one of the reasons I got into comedy.”
See one of Dick Van Dyke’s “The Masked Singer” performances below. And tune in to “Days of Our Lives” this fall to see his first soap opera appearance.