Accent be damned, I first saw and loved Dick Van Dyke as Bert the chimney sweep in "Mary Poppins." As a kid, I caught the Nick at Nite reruns of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and watched the early seasons of his long-running whodunit "Diagnosis Murder" and he was and is one of my favorite TV performers. No one else I can think of can so effortlessly combine physical comedy, wordplay and genuine dramatic chops and do it as well or for as long as Mr. Van Dyke has over his long career.
It's naive to assume that actors in reality display the traits of their characters, but from what I have seen of Dick Van Dyke in interviews and appearances, he looks to be the laid-back, funny guy that Bert, Rob Petrie and Mark Sloan were. He seems like he would be a great guy to visit with, an ideal "grandfather" figure if ever there was one.
Like many other performers of his generation, Dick Van Dyke occasionally seems to be in "retirement" until a new project pops up. Whether it was a sizable supporting role in "Night at the Museum" or his new regular "Murder 101" TV movie series, it's always nice to see Dick Van Dyke on screen. It's almost like catching up with a family member you haven't seen in a while.