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19 Apr 2012

One of America's best-known veteran television personalities, Dick Clark, has died aged 82.

Clark, who presented the long-running music show American Bandstand and an annual New Year's Eve special, had a heart attack, his agent said.

He had continued working even after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2004.

ABC's American Bandstand show introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna.

Paul Shefrin, Clark's spokesman, said the presenter had a heart attack on Wednesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica.

He had gone to the facility the day before for an outpatient procedure.

Clark was often referred to as "the world's oldest teenager" because of his youthful appearance.

He made his 40th appearance on ABC TV's New Year's Rockin' Eve programme on 31 December 2011.

Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in a New York City suburb in 1929, and began working in the mail-room of a radio station in the city in 1945.

In his 1976 autobiography, Rock, Roll & Remember, he said he had idolised his older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. Radio, he said, helped eased his loneliness.

Clark's production company, Dick Clark Productions, created films, game shows, music programmes and beauty contests, including The $25,000 Pyramid, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and the American Music Awards.

At one time during the 1980s, Clark had shows running on all three main US networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - and he ranked among the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans.

He was also a partner of the United Stations Radio Network, which provided content to thousands of stations.

In 1985, Clark told the Associated Press news agency: "There's hardly any segment of the population that doesn't see what I do.

"It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, 'I love your show', and I have no idea which one they're talking about."

Clark married three times and had three children.


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