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Dick Van Dyke's legacy extends far beyond his iconic role as Bert in the Disney classic Mary Poppins. He also welcomed four children, Christian, Barry, Stacy and Carrie Beth, with late ex-wife Margie Willett, to whom he was married for 36 years.
"They all turned out great, I'm happy to say," Dick told USA Today in 2011. "Not a horse thief in the bunch."
Willett grew up with Dick in Danville, Illinois, and married the actor on the radio show Bride and Groom in 1948, he told the Guardian. The couple's first son, Christian Van Dyke, arrived in 1950. He was followed by brother Barry and two sisters, Stacy and Carrie Beth. The pair split in 1984, and Dick began a relationship with Michelle Triola. Dick and Triola never married, but they lived together for over 30 years. Willett died of pancreatic cancer in 2007, and Triola died of lung cancer two years later. Dick married Arlene Silver in 2012.
All four of Dick and Willett's children made their Hollywood debuts early on in life, appearing in episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Diagnosis: Murder and The New Dick Van Dyke Show, according to MeTV. "It's one way to get to see your grown kids," Dick joked to CNN in 1998. "Barry's teenage sons were on, and I had my daughter Stacy on the show, too. That's carrying nepotism to its ultimate!"
According to Barry, Dick was plenty of fun off-camera, too. "He was a terrific father," the Galactica 1980 star said in an appearance on Born Famous in 1987. "He was very much a child in a man's body and was attuned to us all the time. … He gave me great things: How to make the right choices, how to be your own person. Those things meant enough to me that I am gladly and proudly passing them on to my children."
Dick, who was named Father of the Year by the National Father's Day Committee in 1967, wasn't without his struggles, however. "I tried to be a good role model to my children, but I was an alcoholic for 25 years, which inevitably impacted on family life," the Masked Singer contestant told the Guardian in 2016. "When I went into therapy, I realized I was repeating my father's mistakes."
Still, Dick told the publication that his kids turned out to be "truly admirable," adding, "Margie did the work, but I will take some credit."
The Emmy winner, who celebrated his 97th birthday on Dec. 13, 2022, is a grandpa to at least seven grandchildren and a great-grandfather of several more.
Here's everything to know about Dick Van Dyke's four children: Christian, Barry, Stacy and Carrie Beth.
Christian Van Dyke
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The oldest Van Dyke child, Christian, was born in 1950. He started showbiz early, making his acting debut on Jan. 31, 1962, on The Dick Van Dyke Show as a finger-snapping, fedora-wearing youngster named Frankie.
Unlike his famous father, however, Christian didn't stay in Hollywood for long. He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles before heading to Arizona State University to earn a law degree, according to Cascade Business News.
After graduating, Christian practiced law in Oregon, serving as deputy district attorney in Corvallis, assistant attorney general in Salem and district attorney in Marion County. He even worked as corporate counsel for Nike and later as vice president of marketing at Patagonia.
Christian became a dad in 1974, when then-wife Caroline Heller gave birth to a daughter named Jessica Lee. In April 1987, Jessica died at the age of 13. The Associated Press reported that she had contracted chicken pox and suffered complications from Reye's syndrome, which causes swelling in the brain and liver.
The couple had at least two other children, including a son and a daughter.
As for his own father, Christian still looks out for his dad: Dick told the Guardian in 2016 that his son "had doubts" about his marriage to makeup artist Arlene Silver, who is 46 years his junior, but eventually came around. "After we exchanged our vows in 2012, he said, 'Dad, I get it,' " Dick recalled.
As of 2017, Christian was living in Bend, Oregon.
Barry Van Dyke
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The second of Dick and Margie's children, actor Barry Van Dyke, was born on July 31, 1951. He was passionate about his father's business and stuck with the field long after his 1961 appearance on The Dick Van Dyke show at 9 years old.
Despite his early interest in the craft, however, he wasn't a child actor, as Dick made his son wait until he was older to pursue a career in acting. "He wanted me to have my childhood. He told me that if I still wanted to act after I graduated high school, then it would be okay," Barry told the Los Angeles Times in 1994.
Raised in Mandeville Canyon and Encino, California, Barry recalled moving around a lot as a child. "You were always the new kid," he said on Born Famous.
He also did poorly in school. "He was not a good student," Dick recalled of his son in the same interview. "He got in trouble in school only because he didn't do his homework."
When Barry was 9, the family settled in L.A. for Dick's first sitcom, where the younger Van Dyke son visited his dad on set. "We were aware he was on TV and watched the show and knew it was successful, but we didn't socialize with a lot of show-business types," he told the L.A. Times.
As a teenager, Barry worked at a local movie theater, where he met his future wife, Mary Carey, at the age of 16. He later had a job as a gofer on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, holding cue cards and gaining production experience. He told the L.A. Times that his father also helped him get an agent, which enabled him to land jobs as an extra and in small parts in films and shows, like Galactica 1980, Airwolf and Casino.
In 1974, he and Mary tied the knot. The pair share four children: sons Carey, Shane and Wes and daughter Taryn. "He's an incredible father. An absolutely incredible father, much better than I was," Dick said on Born Famous. "He is devoted to the family, that's his primary interest, his priority."
Barry's big acting break came in 1993, when he joined his father's series Diagnosis: Murder, starring as detective Steve Sloan. "It's an easy role for me to fall into," he told the L.A. Times. "My dad pretty much plays himself. You're seeing the real him. All that warmth and humanity really comes across. So I tend to play myself. So their relationship is pretty much ours."
The dynamic duo also starred in the Hallmark film series Murder 101. "I'd work with him any time," Barry said in 1987. "[He is] the best to work with, very creative. … He set a fine example."
Barry most recently starred in 2019's Heavenly Deposit. He is also a grandfather: Carey has several children, including Ava, Gracie and Jane, with his first wife Anne Coolbaugh; Shane welcomed a son named Kayden with wife Julie Schreiner in October 2021; and Wes has two children, Kyla Mae and Conor, with wife Aisling.
Carey and Shane, both actors and writers, wrote the spec script that was later developed into 2022's Don't Worry Darling.
Stacy Van Dyke
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Like her big brothers, Stacy Van Dyke, born around 1955, appeared on screen alongside her famous father in roles like Sally on The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Carol Hilton on Diagnosis: Murder.
According to her father, Stacy also caught the acting bug early on. "I've watched Stacy perform in school plays for years, but I never realized how good she was until we did a benefit together in Phoenix," Dick said of his oldest daughter's talent ahead of her TV debut.
In the 1970s, Stacy was performing at the Windmill Dinner Theater in the performing group the Barnstormers, according to Phoenix Theater History. In July 1979, the Arizona Republic reported that Stacy married Mike Breen, a musician who was also part of the group. Little else is known of Stacy's personal life, however, as she has largely stayed out of the public eye.
She was last seen in the 2002 TV movie Diagnosis Murder: Town Without Pity, where she played Carol Sloan. In 2017, she and her husband released a recording of "Away In A Manger" ahead of the holiday season.
Carrie Beth Van Dyke
Carrie Beth Van Dyke is the youngest of Dick's children. Born in 1961, she was the last of her siblings to appear on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, starring in two series episodes in the early '70s.
Carrie has lived much of her life out of the limelight. In 1983, she married an actor and musician named Kevin McNally, who would later appear on 19 episodes of Diagnosis: Murder. The couple also met while working at the Windmill Dinner Theater. In 2015, McNally published a song on SoundCloud called "Searching Your Eyes"; he shared that he wrote and recorded the song when he and Carrie first began dating. The song also features her sister Stacy and Stacy's husband Breen.
The couple later moved to L.A. and welcomed two children. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2008.