Dick Clark has passed away at the age of 82, it is being reported.
The longtime host of New Years’ Rockin’ Eve had been in failing health in recent years, following a 2004 stroke that forced him to cut back on his place hosting the show on ABC. Clark was a prominent pop-culture presence for many decades, starting his career way back in the 1940′s. But he rose to national fame when he began hosting American Bandstand in the early to mid-fifties.
The show was a hit, running for over 30 years in several incarnations until it went syndicated in 1987. But younger viewers are mostly likely to know Clark from his duties ushering in the New Year on ABC, a gig he began back in 1972. Twice Clark had been unable to perform his duties, once in 2000, and again in 2005 while he recovered from his stroke.
But Clark returned for New Year 2006, hosting alongside new host Ryan Seacrest, who took on much of the show’s duties after Clark fell ill. TMZ first reported Clark’s death, citing a massive heart attack as the cause:
“Clark’s rep tells TMZ, the TV icon had been in St. John’s hospital in L.A. after undergoing an outpatient procedure last night. Clark suffered the “massive” heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful… Clark’s health had been on the decline since he suffered a significant stroke in 2004 — forcing him to retire from his hosting gig at “New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” which he created in 1972. Ryan Seacrest took over in 2006. Dick has appeared on the show sporadically ever since. His final appearance was in 2011.”
As the site notes, Clark is survived by his third wife, Kari Wigton.