Dick Van Dyke Calls Historic Daytime Emmy Nod a 'Different Honor': 'I Seldom Get Recognized for Dramatic Acting' (Exclusive)

The legendary actor made history as the oldest person to be nominated for his guest performance on 'Days of Our Lives'

Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Dick Van Dyke
Christopher Polk/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Dick Van Dyke

Dick Van Dyke isn't new to breaking records and setting the status quo, but he says his latest nod at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards is one of his greatest honors!

The legendary actor, 98, made history when he became oldest actor to receive a Daytime Emmy nomination with his nod for guest performer in a daytime drama series after starring as Timothy Robicheaux on Days of Our Lives.

In an exclusive statement shared with PEOPLE, Dyke is revealing why the recognition has been an unique honor to receive.

"This nomination is very exciting; after all, it took me 75 years and my pal Drake Hogestyn to get on a soap opera!" he says, referencing how he campaigned the DOOL actor for a part in the show. "He is really the reason this happened and deserves the credit and thanks."

<p>NBC</p> Dick Van Dyke on 'Days of Our Lives'


Dick Van Dyke on 'Days of Our Lives'

Related: Dick Van Dyke, 98, Says He 'Would Have Stopped It a Long Time Ago' If He Didn’t Enjoy His Career

Van Dyke continues, "This is a very different honor for me; I seldom get recognized for dramatic or straight acting - comedy and musicals are my specialty after all. I'm so honored and it will be a fun night celebrating with the entire daytime television community."

On Days of Our Lives, the Mary Poppins actor portrayed an amnesiac named Timothy Robicheaux in a special four-part story arc. With the help of Diedre Hall's Marlena Evans, Hogestyn's John Black and Stephen Nichols' Steve Johnson, Robicheaux bridges the gaps in his memory through exercises and musical numbers.

Van Dyke's wife, Arlene Silver, also made an appearance alongside him in an episode of the legendary soap.

<p>NBC</p> Dick Van Dyke on 'Days of Our Lives'


Dick Van Dyke on 'Days of Our Lives'

Related: Dick Van Dyke's Life in Photos

In April 2023, the actor told Access that he and Hogestyn were longtime friends who attended the same gym. One day, Van Dyke took matters into his own hands and asked him about a role on the show.

"I said, 'Don't you have any parts for old people? Come on give me one.' And he took me seriously and got me a part!" he recalled, adding of his role, "I have played old men before, but comedy old men. [This is the] first time I have ever just played my 97-year-old self."

To prepare for his part, the Bye Bye Birdie actor said he watched soap operas to study up on making the perfect delivery — especially for those intense moments that require a bit of dramatic flair.

"Some of the people have been doing it for 20 years," Van Dyke said. "That's all the homework I can do, watch one and see how they do it. The other thing, you have to hold, 'duh duh,' there's the sting of music and we've said something exciting."

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The 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards will broadcast live on CBS and Paramount+ on Friday, June 7 at 8 p.m. ET.

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