The 87-year-old spoke about his life in the business after picking up the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at last night's (January 27) Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"I've been so lucky," he told reporters backstage. "Luck has a lot to do with it - being in the right place at the right time, having someone see you when you have to be particularly good.
"For me, it was kind of heart in my mouth, I was a radio announcer originally - I thought that's what I was going to be, and I've ended up singing and dancing in a Broadway show and television and movies. It was all a surprise to me."
Van Dyke continued: "I love to perform. Usually if I'm performing without an audience, I really don't know what I'm doing. I need an audience to do half the work. We always in the old Dick Van Dyke Show had an audience - we did it like a play. I love an audience. That's why I'm not very good in movies, because there's nobody there to play to."
Van Dyke, who said that he "did a lot of laughing" throughout his career, also joked that there is a downside to his 'Lifetime Achievement' gong.
"You know, all the other awards look heavy, but this one - it weighs about 30lbs!" he laughed. "You should try it. It's a good 30lb. Anyway, that's why they don't hand it to you [on stage] - you could drop it and break your toe."
During his acceptance speech, Van Dyke revealed that he was a "happy man" to count the other actors at the ceremony as his peers.
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