Entertainment icon Dick Clark died Wednesday morning after
suffering a massive heart attack, his agent Paul Shefrin confirmed. He was 82.
Clark had entered a Los Angeles hospital Tuesday evening to
undergo an outpatient procedure, according to multiple reports, but then
suffered a heart attack and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
His health had been declining since he suffered stroke
in 2004, forcing him to give up hosting his eponymous Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve special on ABC, which he had
hosted since 1972. Ryan Seacrest took over the special in 2006, though Clark
still appeared on the program every year to kiss his wife at midnight.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark," Seacrest said in a statement posted to Facebook Wednesday. "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."
"For more than half a century, Dick Clark brought the best of American music to audiences across the country, creating careers and countless fans for artists on his iconic shows, American Bandstand and New Year's Rockin' Eve," said
Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said in a statement. "We're proud that ABC was home to those programs and will always be part of his legacy. On behalf of everyone at Disney and ABC, we send our sincere condolences to Dick's family, as well as the three generations of fans who will miss him as much as we do."
Clark first gained fame as host of ABC's American Bandstand on ABC from 1956 to 1989, which helped popularize rock 'n' roll music and gave scores of artists their big break. His involvement with the show and his eternally
youthful looks earned him the nickname "America's Oldest Teenager." Bandstand's
popularity helped cement Clark as a staple of American television, and he went
on to host five versions of the game show Pyramid.
He founded Dick Clark Productions in 1957, which produced
such classic shows as Bandstand and The Dick Clark Show as well as more
recently, awards shows like the Golden
Globe Awards, American Music Awards,
and of course, New Year's Rockin' Eve.
Clark is survived by his third wife, Kari, and his three