Dick Clark dead at 82

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Dick Clark hosting "New Year's Rockin' Eve" (AP Photo/ABC/Donna Svennevik/File)

LOS ANGELES — Dick Clark, who helped millions usher in the new year for decades and entertained millions more with his long-running “American Bandstand,” has died.

Spokesman Paul Shefrin said Clark died of a heart attack Wednesday morning at Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica. He was 82.

Clark had been admitted to the hospital on Tuesday for an outpatient procedure, Shefrin said.

Long dubbed “the world’s oldest teenager,” Clark started “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC in 1972. He hosted it every year until he suffered a stroke in December 2004. The stroke affected his ability to speak and walk.

Clark returned to the show in 2005 and became a cohost in 2006 while “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest took over the main duties.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend,” Seacrest tweeted. “He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life.”

The music program “American Bandstand” ran on ABC from 1957 to 1987. It started as a local-only show in Philadelphia but became a national phenomenon under Clark’s direction.

It featured stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna. Clark donated Bandstand’s original podium and backdrop to the Smithsonian Institution.

He founded Dick Clark Productions, which brought movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits: “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and the American Music Awards.

For a time in the 1980s, he had shows on all three networks and was listed among the Forbes 400 of wealthiest Americans.

Information form the Associated Press was used in this report.