Sick Celebrities


Dick Clark has not let a stroke stop him


In 2003, it was revealed that TV personality Dick Clark had type 2 diabetes. The following year, the game show host suffered a stroke. Though his condition was initially not thought to be severe, it was later announced that he would not be able to host his annual New Year’s Eve countdown on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, a show which has been running since 1972 on ABC.

Regis Philbin, another US TV favourite, acted as Clark’s replacement during the 2004 show. The morning TV presenter passed on his best wishes to Clark.

Dick Clark with wife Kari

The following year however, Clark made his comeback. Noticeably frail and slurring his speech, the now 80-year-old told his audience: “Last year I had a stroke. It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It’s been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I’m getting there.“

And sure enough, the star seems to have been going from strength to strength since. In his 2010 appearance, though still slurring his words somewhat and getting a little breathless, Clark exhibited better body movement and clearer verbal expression.

In an interview with USA Today, the former presenter of American Bandstand said: “I’m feeling fine, though the stroke has slowed me down and made it difficult for me to walk and talk.“

On being asked whether he intends to return for the 2011 countdown, Clark answered: “I still haven’t made up my mind. I still enjoy the honor of sharing in so many people’s annual celebration. I wish my delivery was crisp and clean, but due to my stroke I’m happy that Ryan Seacrest now carries the heavier load. I do the best I can and have been encouraged to continue because I hear it serves to inspire many others.“

Ryan Seacrest has been Clark’s co-host since the 2005 show. It has been suggested that the presenter will take over completely, should his counterpart choose to retire.

Other celebrities who have battled diabetes include Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Salma Hayek and the deceased Brittany Murphy and Casey Johnson.

Back to top