TV Icon Dick Clark Remembered for 'Making Careers'

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Fans and colleagues around the nation are remembering the life of "the world's oldest teenager," Dick Clark, who passed away of a heart attack Wednesday. He was 82.

The television icon is best known for hosting ABC's "American Bandstand" and bringing in the New Year with his annual TV special from Times Square. He also founded Dick Clark Productions, working to develop a number of movies, games, and television shows.

"There's hardly any segment of the population that doesn't see what I do," Clark told The Associated Press in a 1985 interview. "It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, 'I love your show,' and I have no idea which one they're talking about."

Clark was given the "oldest teenager" nickname because of his boyish appearance.

He suffered a stroke in 2004 that affected his ability to speak and walk. Yet, the following year he appeared again to host "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve."

Although his speech was sometimes difficult to understand, Clark was praised for his bravery and commitment.

The original "American Bandstand" was one of ABC's longest-running TV series.

Clark is remembered by friends as a patient, encouraging man who could be a workaholic.

"Work was his hobby," said Fran La Maina, the longtime president of Dick Clark Productions Inc. "He had this never-give-up attitude. He was a great salesperson and a task master."

Several stars credit Clark for pushing them to never give up.

"Careers grew because of Dick Clark," singer and actor Pat Boone said. "He is going to be sorely missed."

"He was there for every crisis of my life and there were many," singer Connie Francis said in statement. "Without Dick Clark there would have been no career because I was ready to abandon it."

Clark, twice divorced, had three children: Richard Augustus II, with first wife Barbara Mallery, and Duane and Cindy, with second wife Loretta Martin. He married Kari Wigton in 1977.

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