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Dick Van Dyke Makes History as Oldest Daytime Emmy Winner at 98: ‘This Really Tops Off a Lifetime in the Business’

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Prior to his win at the Daytime Emmys, Van Dyke won five primetime Emmy awards, one Tony and one Grammy in addition to receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Dick Van Dyke made history at the 2024 Daytime Emmy Awards.

The 98-year-old actor became the oldest Daytime Emmy winner when he took home the prize for best guest performer in a daytime drama series for starring as Timothy Robicheaux on Days of Our Lives.

“I don’t believe this,” Van Dyke said as he and his wife, Arlene Silver, accepted the award. “I feel like a spy from nighttime television. I brought this lady up because she, by trouble and strife, is the love of my life, but because she was in the show — she played the cop who arrested me.”

He continued, joking: “She looks better than she did as that cop and I’m the oldest nominee in history.”

The crowd laughed as he poked fun at the fact that he has been “playing an old man all my life.”

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“If I had known I was going to live this long I would’ve taken better care of myself,” he said. “You guys are a real family and just took me in and treated me so nicely.”

He then concluded, noting his “80 years in the business” started with him doing a show for fun with a friend and having his career “snowball into this.” As he exited, he was once again poking fun at his age.

“I’m 98 years old, can you believe it?” he said. “‘This really tops off a lifetime of 80 years in the business.”

The other nominees in the category included The Young and the Restless’ Linden Ashby, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Ashley Jones, General Hospital’s Alley Mills and Neighbours’ Guy Pearce.

Days before the awards show, he shared an exclusive statement with PEOPLE, explaining why the recognition has been an unique honor to receive.

“This nomination is very exciting; after all, it took me 75 years and my pal Drake Hogestyn to get on a soap opera!” he said, referencing how he campaigned the DOOL actor for a part in the show. “He is really the reason this happened and deserves the credit and thanks.”

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He continued, “This is a very different honor for me; I seldom get recognized for dramatic or straight acting – comedy and musicals are my specialty after all. I’m so honored and it will be a fun night celebrating with the entire daytime television community.”

Over the course of his legendary career, Van Dyke has received five primetime Emmy awards for Van Dyke and Company and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

In 1995, he was inducted into the television academy’s Hall of Fame. He was also awarded a Tony for the 1960 Broadway rendition of Bye Bye Birdie and a Grammy for Mary Poppins.

Van Dyke’s entertainment career started out in radio and on Broadway before he landed on Carl Reiner’s The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961 to 1966, and starred Mary Tyler Moore as his wife. The sitcom catapulted both Van Dyke and Moore to stardom.

While shooting The Dick Van Dyke Show, he joined Julie Andrews, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber in Walt Disney Pictures’ now-classic Mary Poppins. The 1964 film “was special,” he told PEOPLE in 2011. “I loved working with kids. You do a lot of clowning and get to know them.”

After the movie came a string of film roles including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Dick Tracy, as well as TV parts. From 1993 to 2001, he played Dr. Mark Sloan, a teaching physician who solved crimes in his spare time, in the CBS crime drama Diagnosis: Murder.

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Since then, Van Dyke has appeared in 2006’s Night in the Museum and 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns — and the actor continues to stay busy even in his 90s.

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