Dick Van Dyke was born and raised in Danville, Illinois, and in celebration of Christmas the iconic “Mary Poppins” star sent a video message praising his hometown.
“Every time of year it gets towards Christmas, I start thinking of home, thinking of Danville,” says Van Dyke, who turned 95 earlier this month.
Recalling his childhood in Danville in the 1930s, Van Dyke remembers that Christmas “wasn’t such a big commercial thing.”
Recalling he “always got a pair of corduroy pants — which I hated,” the star of the classic “Dick Van Dyke Show” recalls the best gift he received on Christmas morning: “a magic set, because I was an amateur magician. That was my Christmas, and I appreciated every bit of it.”
Van Dyke goes on to lament that these days “there’s too much Christmas and not enough spirit anymore.”
The reason for his message was to offer thanks for a story on his 95th that appeared in the local newspaper, the Commercial-News.
“You gave me such a nice writeup on the first page of the Commercial-News, about my 95th birthday, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of Danville. Merry Christmas.”