Dick Clark, the seemingly ageless television fixture who hosted American Bandstand and helped the nation celebrate New Year's Eve for nearly 40 years, died Wednesday in Santa Monica of a massive heart attack at age 82.
Following the announcement, the Hollywood Historic Trust left flowers on Clark's Walk of Fame Star near the northeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street Wednesday afternoon.
Affectionately known as "America's oldest teenager" for his perennially youthful looks and enthusiastic attitude, Clark went to St. John's Health Center last night for an "outpatient procedure," but suffered a "massive heart attack," publicist Paul Shefrin said.
"Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful," Shefrin said.
Famed for his hosting duties on American Bandstand and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 that forced him largely out of the public eye, although he continued to make appearances on the New Year's Eve special alongside new host Ryan Seacrest. The 2004 stroke forced him to miss his New Year's Eve special for the first time since 1972.
His stroke came a year after he announced that he had Type 2 diabetes.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark," Seacrest wrote on his Twitter page. "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Clark, a New York native, attended Syracuse University, where he majored in advertising. He also worked as a DJ at the campus radio station, a job that translated to paying gigs at other stations, including one owned by his father.
He moved on to become a television and radio anchorman in both New York and Philadelphia, where he worked at WFIL radio and eventually its television affiliate.
He became host of the local Philadelphia television show Bandstand in 1956. One year later, he created dick clark productions and took the show national on ABC as American Bandstand, which went on to become one of the longest-running variety shows in television history.
His company produces shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and awards broadcasts including the Golden Globes, American Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.
Clark also hosted the Pyramid game series and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. He has also hosted pageants such as Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA.
In 2006, Clark was honored at the Emmy Awards, and he reflected on his long show-business career.
"Before I had my stroke, I was thinking about all of the things I have become involved in over my life — music, comedy, drama, game and talk shows, even reality TV," he told the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium. "I now realize that I have accomplished my job and dream, to be in show business.
"Everybody should be so lucky to have their dreams come true," he said. "I've been truly blessed. I thank you very, very much."
After news of his death broke, accolades for Clark poured in from celebrities, musicians and co-workers.
Jermaine Jackson, one of the Jackson Five, said Clark always visited the group in the dressing room prior to performances "to make sure we were OK and catered for. Big hearted. One-of-a-kind."
Janet Jackson wrote on Twitter that Clark "changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists, incuding our family. We will miss him."
Quincy Jones called him "a pioneer whose mark on American culture will be felt forever."
"Dick Clark will be truly missed," singer Fergie tweeted. "We will carry on his legacy every New Year's Eve."
Mark Shapiro, chief executive officer of dick clark productions, called Clark "an American institution."
"He was able to replicate the magic he brought to 'American Bandstand,' not once but several times, through The Golden Globes, 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' and thousands of hours of programming in almost every genre imaginable," Shapiro said. "He was the first of his kind — a pioneer, entrepreneur and creative visionary who bridged and cultivated the music scene with traditional show business."
Clark is survived by his wife, Kari Wigton, and has three children from two previous marriages.
There was no immediate word on funeral services.
— Lindsey Baguio contributed to this report.