Dick Van Dyke says his secret to staying young is his ‘beautiful young wife half my age’

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Dick Van Dyke says his secret to staying so youthful: his 51-year-old wife, Arlene Silver.

The legendary Hollywood actor, 97, recently stunned The Masked Singer audiences when he was unmasked in the show’s “greatest reveal ever”. After he was unveiled to be the Gnome, judge Nicole Scherzinger was even brought to tears as she said the actor looked “so gorgeous” and “so handsome.”

Now, Van Dyke has spoken about how he maintains his youthful energy and vivaciousness in an interview with Yahoo. When asked what was his “secret for staying so youthful,” the Mary Poppins star replied: “Having a beautiful young wife half my age to take care of me – that works!”

He went on to credit his wife with helping him maintain a “positive attitude,” as well as going to the gym “three days a week” to work out.

“I advise everybody to do that, because that’s what ages people,” he continued. “It’s just a stiffening up and not exercising their muscles and their lungs. Exercise is the answer.”

The Bye Bye Birdie actor also chalked up his age-defying qualities to simply having good genes.

Dick Van Dyke has been married to makeup artist Arlene Silver for 11 years. The couple first met at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006 where Silver was working and Van Dyke was appearing during the ceremony. Although Van Dyke was 81 and she was 35 at the time, the two didn’t strike up a romance until after Van Dyke’s longtime partner Michelle Triola died from lung cancer in 2009.

Silver moved into Van Dyke’s Malibu home in 2011, and the two were married one year later on 29 February 2012. The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor was initially afraid that people wouldn’t accept their 46-year age gap, but Van Dyke told People that he was surprised by his family’s reaction.

Dick Van Dyke and wife Arlene Silver at the premiere of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns in November 2018 (Getty Images)
Dick Van Dyke and wife Arlene Silver at the premiere of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns in November 2018 (Getty Images)

“My grandkids call her Grandma. My four kids just love her,” he said back in 2012.

His wife even helped inspire his performance on the season 9 premiere of The Masked Singer on 15 February, where he sang “When You’re Smiling” by Frank Sinatra. The Tony award-winner told People that Silver actually helped him pick out his song for the show.

“They wanted me to do something current and I know nothing from rock,” Van Dyke said. “So we picked out one which typifies me. She’s the one that came up with it and I liked the song, too.”

As for his workout routine, Dick Van Dyke previously demonstrated to CBS This Morning how he does an ab workout with the use of exercise equipment.

“I’m 95 and a lot of my friends won’t do these,” he said in 2020.

While doing sit-ups, he explained: “The stomach is the core of your whole body. If your stomach’s strong, you’re in good shape.”

The actor also said that his workout routine has kept him in shape and allowed him to keep doing what he loves. “So all you old guys out there, listen to me,” he added. “I’m telling you, you can keep going. I’m still dancing and singing!”

Van Dyke was previously married to Margie Willett from 1948 to 1984. Together, the former couple had four children: Christian, Barry, Stacy, and Carrie Beth. In 1976, Van Dyke began dating his longtime partner Michelle Triola Marvin, who would live with Van Dyke for more than 30 years until her death in 2009.

The Hollywood icon also has seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.