Dick Clark, the 'World's Oldest Teenager' Dies at 82
Dick Clark, the 'World's Oldest Teenager' Dies at 82
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
"For now, Dick Clark... so long."

That "so long" has now become permanent. Dick Clark, a staple of American television since the 1950s, has died of a heart attack.

TMZ.com has reported that Clark, aged 82, died of a massive heart attack while in the hospital for an outpatient procedure. The heart attack was unexpected, coming years after a serious stroke suffered by Dick Clark in 2004. Despite the man's advancing years and numerous health issues, the death of Clark, a TV personality always associated with youth, seems especially surprising.

Known as "The World's Oldest Teenager," because of his perennially youthful appearance, Dick Clark first found television fame with the teen dance show, American Bandstand, beginning on ABC in 1957. Clark served as both a host and producer of the show, which aired daily until 1963 and then weekly until 1987. Dick Clark later cemented his position as an American TV icon as the host of several versions of the Pyramid game show in the 1970s and the 1980s.

In recent years, Dick Clark's most prominent TV role was as the host and producer of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. The annual New Year's Eve program began in 1972 and has aired annually (except for one pre-emption on December 31, 1999) on ABC ever since. Dick Clark only missed hosting duties one time in that period -- while recovering from a stroke in 2004. Ryan Seacrest has co-hosted the event with Dick Clark since 2005 (prompting a name-change to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest).

Ryan Seacrest was among the many celebrities paying tribute to Dick Clark on Twitter after the news was released. Seacrest tweeted: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life."

Dick Clark received numerous awards over his long television career. For his various television projects, Clark won four Emmys -- plus a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994), a Peabody Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has also been inducted into the National Radio, Broadcasting Magazine, Rock and Roll, and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Halls of Fame.

Dick Clark is survived by his third wife, Kari Wigton, as well as three children from previous marriages.

(Image courtesy of WENN)