LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – “American Bandstand” host Dick Clark, whose long-running television dance show helped rock ‘n’ roll win acceptance in mainstream America, died today at age 82, a spokesman said.
Clark, one of America’s best-known TV personalities and the longtime host of ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square in Manhattan, suffered a heart attack and died at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, publicist Paul Shefrin said.
Clark, who started out as a TV announcer in Utica, New York, parlayed his “Bandstand” fame into a career as a producer and host of dozens of other shows, including ABC’s annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” telecast, which he launched in 1972.
His youthful good looks — which he maintained into his 70s — won him the nickname of “America’s oldest teenager.”
Clark suffered a stroke in December 2004 that forced him to sit out the Times Square show that year, but he returned to co-host the program the following year.
With his clean-cut image and youthful appearance, he presided over more than three decades of pop music and dance trends as host of “American Bandstand,” the first network TV show to feature rock ‘n’ roll.
He also produced such perennial TV events as the American Music Awards and the Golden Globes telecast.