Wichita Woman Recalls Friendship With Dick Clark

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One KAKEland viewer remembered meeting "America's Oldest Teenager" during the 1991 Miss USA pageant that was held at Century II in Wichita.

"He would come into my dressing room 'cause I had a really big mirror [and] he wanted to use it. I love him so much. Amazing, warm, you wouldn't know he was a star, very down to earth," said Andrea Cassell, one of the performers at the pageant.

The Miss USA pageant was hosted by Clark five times. Four out of the five times were held in Wichita.

Clark used his fame to build an entertainment empire by producing award shows, hosting game shows and helping the country countdown the new year in Times Square.

"Being in the public eye, you'd think, 'Oh, I wonder what they're like in real life?' I would say he's exactly charming and approachable in real life as he was on TV," said Cassell.

Clark died from a heart attack at the age of 82.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark, the music industry maverick, longtime TV host and powerhouse producer who changed the way we listened to pop music with American Bandstand, and whose trademark Rockin' Eve became a fixture of New Year's celebrations, died today at the age of 82, ABC News has learned.

Clark, who suffered a serious stroke in 2004 but returned to the airwaves, reportedly died from a heart attack.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC became a Dec. 31 tradition, with Clark hosting the festivities for more than three decades, introducing the entertainment acts and, of course, counting down to midnight as the ball dropped in New York's Times Square.

But the traditional celebration saw a temporary stop in 2004, when Clark suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and struggling to speak. Regis Philbin stepped in. But by the next New Year's Eve, Dick Clark was back, his speech still impaired. In halting words, he told the audience, "I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It's been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I'm getting there."

Clark, whose eternally youthful look earned him the nickname "America's Oldest Teenager", is survived by his three children and his third wife, Keri Wigton, married to him since 1977.

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