Getty Images.  instagram.com/official_dick_van_dyke.  twitter.com/CBSMornings
Source: Getty Images. instagram.com/official_dick_van_dyke. twitter.com/CBSMornings

Inside Dick Van Dyke & Decades Younger Wife’s Home Where He Shows off Routine He Says Will Get Him to 100

Busayo Ogunjimi
Apr 22, 2022
07:30 P.M.
Share this pen
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail

Dick Van Dyke plans to live for a long time which is why he didn't mind marrying a woman almost four decades younger than him. It was his second marriage, and she had been very skeptical about dating him but is totally in love now and doesn't mind spending all her time with him.

Advertisement

Dick Van Dyke is one of the icons of the golden age of entertainment, but he has a very complex private life, especially where women are concerned. The talented actor met his first wife, Margie Willet, in 1945 at the age of 20.

In a memoir he released in 2012 titled "My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business," Dick revealed that Willet had been a local girl he had known for some time before she dumped her boyfriend to be with him. 

[Left] Actor Dick Van Dyke and his wife Arlene Silver at the ceremony honoring posthumously Peter Falk with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 25, 2013 in Hollywood, California; [Center] Dick Van Dyke at a garden dancing; [Right] Dick Van Dyke and his wife Arlene Silver sitting and speaking in an interview with CBS Moring. | Source: Getty Images. instagram.com/official_dick_van_dyke. twitter.com/CBSMornings

Advertisement

After they started dating, Van Dyke tried his hand at advertising; however that did not last long, and before long, he was back at a local radio station where he had worked as a high school student.

Unfortunately, it paid peanuts, and when the time came to get married, the couple was too broke to afford it.

Thankfully, they got enrolled in a radio show called "Bride and Groom," According to Heavy.com, the show handled the wedding preparations and offered to sponsor their honeymoon afterward.

American actor Dick Van Dyke pictured with his wife Margie Willett in London in 1964. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The wedding took place in 1948, and they later settled in Malibu while he started his acting career and got a duplex to themselves. During that time, they conceived twins, but a miscarriage occurred, and while they were taking care of that in the hospital, their landlord evicted them because of overdue rent. 

After that, the actor started traveling a lot to work, but they somehow managed to expand their family four times over the years so that by 1961 they were proud parents of four kids: Christian, Barry, Stacy, and Carrie.

It was a perfect family, but unfortunately, the actor's work often saw him travel, which meant he had only fleeting time for family. The pair split up in 1976 after Van Dyke confessed to getting intimate with a woman named Michelle Triola, and by 1984 the divorce was finalized. 

Advertisement

Actor Dick Van Dyke and son Chris Van Dyke at the Television Critics Association Awards Luncheon on July 15, 2000 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, California. | Source: Getty Images

Their first child, Chris, appeared briefly alongside his dad on his self-titled show before launching his own acting career. Eventually, he decided that the showbiz life was not for him and went on to become a district attorney well known for taking on notorious murder trials. 

Advertisement

He got respected as he got older and advanced in his chosen field, then he got married to a woman named Caroline Heller, and they welcomed one child together.

Her name was Jessica, but unfortunately, she passed away in 1987 at 13 after she was diagnosed with Reye's syndrome, which triggers swelling in the brain and lungs.

Barry Van Dyke, son of Dick Van Dyke, circa 1985. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

The aged man puts himself through exercises and has admitted that as a nonagenarian, he still sings and dances just because he can, and he has no plans to stop.

The actor became a voice for the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation to honor her death to get people sensitized about the disease.

Aside from Chris, only one of Van Dyke's other children has kids of his own; in total, the actor is said to have four grandkids: Taryn Van Dyke (1986) and three grandsons named Wes (1984), Carey (1976), and Shane Van Dyke (1979). 

American actor Dick Van Dyke and his children host a telecast of the 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz', circa 1961. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

His second child Barry Van Dyke was a bright child who quickly grew bored with school. He chose to follow his father in acting like his older brother Chris did in his earlier years; however, he stuck with it.

Since his career kicked off, Barry has starred in dozens of hit TV shows and films, including "Murder 101," "Airwolf," and "Galactica," among others. 

The actor also has four kids; Taryn Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, Carey Van Dyke, and Wes Van Dyke, and he shares them with his longtime wife, Mary Carey Van Dyke.

Advertisement

He became a granddad himself after his second child welcomed her first child, and since then, she has delivered four more, making him a granddad of five.

Van Dyke's third child is a girl named Carrie Ann; she also had a brief stint acting on her dad's show, and her work as an actress has reportedly earned her about $100,000.

However, unlike her brothers, who still enjoy renown, she prefers to live a private life, so not too much is known about her. However, it is said that she has been married to Kevin McNally since 1983 with two children to show for it.

Advertisement

After Carrie came Stacy, Van Dyke's youngest daughter. She also lives lowkey even though she once showcased her acting talents on her father's show when she debuted in 1971.  

Her performance on the show cleared the way for her appearance on "The Mike Douglas Show" in 1979. After that, she has remained mostly out of the spotlight, so very little is known about her personal life.

Advertisement

Van Dyke is proud of all four of his children regardless of how they are currently living their lives, and he has been known to sing their praises every now and then. He once said

"They all turned out great, I'm happy to say. Not a horse thief in the bunch."

Advertisement

HE REMAINED WITH HIS MISTRESS BUT NEVER MARRIED HER

Van Dyke's marriage to Willet ended because of his infidelity with Michelle Triola. It all started in 1972 when he checked into a hospital to receive treatment for his alcoholism.

He spent three weeks getting treatment, and shortly after, his then-wife, Willet, also got admitted for her addiction to prescription drugs. After that, she started spending more time away from Hollywood, choosing to spend most of her time on a property they owned in the desert. 

Disturbed by the turn of events, Van Dyke sought comfort and found it by confiding in his agent's secretary, Michelle Triola.

Advertisement

Dick Van Dyke and Michelle Triola during 15th Annual La Drama Critics Circle Awards at Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

According to him, she was easy to talk to and was so understanding that she quickly drew him into a relationship even though she was battling in court with Lee Mavins, who had been her lover for six years. 

Advertisement

It went overboard, and soon Van Dyke started to feel guilty about the affair; By 1976, he decided to be honest with Willet, who promptly split up with him until they finalized their divorce. Nevertheless, the two remained friends until Willet died in 2008.

Her death hurt him, but thankfully he had Triola around, and she helped him get back on his feet; They were a great pair and may have gotten married if she had decided on a date before her passing. But unfortunately, she never did, and one year after Willet passed on, Triola followed. 

Actor Dick Van Dyke and Michelle Triola at the 88th Birthday Party for Milton Berle on July 12, 1996 at the Alfred Dunhill Store in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

HIS SOMBER REFLECTIONS

Van Dyke lost two women he had grown to love in the space of a few years to cancer. Triola had been his companion for quite some time, but when it became certain she would lose her life, he did his best to keep the knowledge from her.

Their deaths hurt him deeply because he hates being alone, and that's what he was after Triola's demise. It made him feel very alone and also told him that a single life was not an option. Reflecting on their demise, he said

"In 2008, Margie died of pancreatic cancer and I lost a part of myself. A year later, Michelle was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she asked if she was going to die, I pretended I didn't know – the hardest acting I have ever done."

Advertisement

Actor Dick Van Dyke arrives at the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences' "Father's Day Salute To TV Dads" on June 18, 2009 in North Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

HOW HE MET HIS YOUNG WIFE

Van Dyke's second wife is about 46 years younger than him, and they met at an awards dinner in 2006. He recalled her as a stunning woman, and he had wasted no time introducing himself to her, after which they became good friends.

Advertisement

When the pair started dating, it came as a shock to many, including his kids; however, they had to accept that the actor knew what was best for himself, and if that was Arlene, they would accept her. Chris had been the one with the biggest doubts, but he gave them up after their marriage.

Van Dyke would later admit that he and Arlene don't feel the age gap between them because they complement each other perfectly; while he is a child at heart, he describes her as "very wise for her own age," which makes it easy for them to meet at the middle.

Actor Dick Van Dyke and his wife, makeup artist Arlene Silver arrive at the Professional Dancers Society Presents Gypsy Award To Julie Andrews at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 18, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Of course, things were not always that easy with her, and Van Dyke has confessed in the past that in the beginning. His age had been a limiting factor for her. Thankfully he did not come on too strong at first, so they had a chance to become friends first, which made their age gap seem inconsequential. 

They were respectful towards each other, and while he mourned the loss of his partner of 33 years, she gave him comfort as a friend. It was through that window that their relationship came to surpass mere friendship. 

After they got together, Arlene slowly brought people she knew up to speed about them, but she was expecting backlash; fortunately, all she received was support from her friends and family. The pair tied the knot twice in 2012, first on February 29 and then on September 8. 

Advertisement

Actor Dick Van Dyke (R) and Arlene Silver attend the U.S. Premiere Of Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks" at Walt Disney Studios on December 9, 2013 in Burbank, California. | Source: Getty Images

THEIR HOME

After their marriage, Van Dyke and his spouse moved into a modest single-story house in Malibu. He bought it from actress Margot Kidder in 1986, and they transformed it into a home. 

Advertisement

In 2020 when the pandemic started, Arlene, who knew that her husband could not stand isolation, rearranged a patio in their backyard into a sitting area where visitors would sit when they came by.

Over the years, he has turned that home into a haven complete with many art pieces he loves, a life-size silicone Bert, a piano, and several keepsakes like his trophies. 

Advertisement

HOW HE STAYS YOUNG

Dick Van Dyke is a different kind of grown-up, and this is because, at his age, many people will have given up on being active. That's far from who he is, and at 96, the actor still looks sprite as a 60-year-old. 

In 2021, he revealed in a video shared on Twitter by CBS that he has managed to retain his youthfulness because he has chosen to remain active.

The aged man puts himself through exercises and has admitted that as a nonagenarian, he still sings and dances just because he can, and he has no plans to stop.

The same goes for his career as an actor, and he has even stated that he hopes to reach 100 and still keep on acting.

His wife, Arlene, who used to be worried about his age, has also let that uncertainty go, and they now live happily ever after, determined to sing and dance until one of them can't anymore.

Advertisement