Dick Van Dyke survives car fire on Los Angeles freeway

87-year-old actor emerges unscathed after car goes on fire on hard shoulder

Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke, best known for his self-titled hit 1960s television comedy, survived a car fire, apparently unscathed, on a Los Angeles-area freeway yesterday.

A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol confirmed it was the 87-year-old performer whose car was reported on fire on the shoulder of the Ventura Freeway with a driver seen slumped over the steering wheel.

Some off-duty nurses stopped to offer assistance, and firefighters arrived quickly and put out the blaze, said the CHP spokesman, officer Saul Gomez.

Gomez said he had no immediate information on Van Dyke’s condition, or the cause of the fire.


But a six-second video clip posted on Twitter by Van Dyke’s wife, Arlene, showed the performer’s charred vehicle on the freeway and a brief glimpse of the actor talking to officials at the scene. Van Dyke appeared unharmed in the video clip.

A caption accompanying the clip said: “Van Dyke’s melted car ... He’s fine thank God!!”

Van Dyke, whose air of affability and a gift for physical comedy helped make “The Dick Van Dyke Show” one of the most beloved sitcoms in US television history, received a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in January.

His show, which co-starred Mary Tyler Moore as his wife, ran on CBS from the fall of 1961 to the fall of 1966 and continued on in syndicated reruns for decades.

He scored another prime-time hit with the crime drama “Diagnosis Murder” in the 1990s and early 2000s.