Richard Wagstaff Clark (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was an American radio and television personality, television producer and film actor, as well as a cultural icon who remains best known for hosting American Bandstand from 1956 to 1989. He also hosted five incarnations of the Pyramid game show from 1973 to 1988 and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, which transmitted New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City's Times Square.
Richard Wagstaff Clark
November 30, 1929
Bronxville, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 18, 2012 82) (aged|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Syracuse University|
|Board member of||Dick Clark Productions|
(m. 1952; div. 1961)
(m. 1962; div. 1971)
|Children||3, including Duane|
|Parent(s)||Julia Barnard (1897–1973),|
Richard A. Clark Sr. (1896–1989)
As host of American Bandstand, Clark introduced rock & roll to many Americans. The show gave many new music artists their first exposure to national audiences, including Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, Iggy Pop, Prince, Talking Heads, and Madonna. Episodes he hosted were among the first in which black people and white people performed on the same stage, and they were among the first in which the live studio audience sat down together without racial segregation. Singer Paul Anka claimed that Bandstand was responsible for creating a "youth culture". Due to his perennially youthful appearance and his largely teenaged audience of American Bandstand, Clark was often referred to as "America's oldest teenager" or "the world's oldest teenager".
In his off-stage roles, Clark served as chief executive officer of Dick Clark Productions company (though he sold off his financial interest in his later years). He also founded the American Bandstand Diner, a restaurant chain modeled after the Hard Rock Cafe.[[[Wikipedia:Vagueness|vague]]] In 1973, he created and produced the annual American Music Awards show, similar to the Grammy Awards.