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Few entertainment figures can boast the legacy left by Dick Clark. From radio to television to music, the man known as "America’s oldest teenager" changed the face of just about everything he touched. Clark died Wednesday, April 18, after suffering a heart attack at age 82. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m.
Legendary television producer and host of "American Bandstand" Dick Clark has died after suffering a "massive heart attack" at a Santa Monica hospital, according to his representative. He was 82.
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Clark had been at St. John's Hospital where he suffered the heart attack after an outpatient medical procedure, according to his publicist.
The details of Clark's medical procedure were not released, although Congressman David Dreier (R-CA) said he spent time with the 82-year-old at a Malibu dinner party recently and at the time, Clark said he was scheduled to undergo outpatient cataract surgery.
The family released a statement Wednesday through his publicist: "Entertainment Icon Dick Clark passed away this morning (Wednesday) at the age of 82 following a massive heart attack it was announced by his family. Clark, 82, had entered St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica last night for an outpatient procedure. Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful."
Flowers will be placed on Clark's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, located at Sunset and Vine, Wednesday afternoon.
Clark, known as "the world's oldest teenager," became the full-time host of "American Bandstand" in 1956 after getting his start in radio. At the time, "Bandstand" was in Philadelphia, but Clark took the show to national prominence and it was moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s.
Clark was born in New York in 1929 and began his show business career in the 1940s in the mailroom of a radio station. He worked as a news announcer and weatherman, then graduated from Syracuse University in 1951.
He went on to serve as chairman of Dick Clark Productions, becoming one of Forbes' 400 wealthiest Americans. The company created movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and a variety of other entertainment programs for television.
His credits include "The $25,000 Pyramid," "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" and the American Music Awards. The original "American Bandstand'' was one of network television's longest-running series and considered a launch-point for musical careers. It was part of ABC's daytime lineup from 1957 to 1989.
Clark suffered a stroke in 2004, but returned to host "New Year's Rockin' Eve" in 2005. He appeared in a reduced role at subsequent New Year's Eve shows as Ryan Seacrest became the program's main host.
Seacrest issued a statement in which he said he "idolized" Clark. He called working with him a "dream come true."
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark," Seacrest said in a statement. "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his show in 2006 , it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last six years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I'll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him."
Clark is survived by his wife, Kari Wigton, and has three children from previous marriages.