Dick Van Dyke married his first wife on a radio show

The actor's big day was broadcast.

Dick Van Dyke has been a familiar face on our screens for decades, but he also had a very successful career as a radio DJ in the 1940s. Also on the radio? Dick Van Dyke's wedding!

In 1948, Van Dyke married his first wife, Margerie Willett, as part of a radio show entitled Bride and Groom. The radio series broadcasted from 1945 to 1950, and each episode focused on an engaged couple who would be married on the broadcast. In the book, On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning wrote of the show, "During its five-year run, Bride and Groom told the stories of almost 1,000 new couples. Though the actual ceremony was performed privately in a small chapel adjoining the Chapman Park Hotel, where the broadcast originated in Los Angeles, the couple was introduced before and interviewed immediately afterward. A couple each day was united. They got on the show by telling their stories in letters to producer John Reddy. He made the selections by the human interest he found there. Occasionally a golden wedding anniversary was celebrated." 

Crucially, Dunning also explained that the newlywed couple did not walk away from the show empty-handed. He wrote, "Each couple was given wedding rings, appliances, silver, and other gifts and was sent on a 'flying honeymoon' to a location of their choice."

Van Dyke actually spoke about the experience during an interview with Newsday (Suffolk Edition), and he actually had a very rational explanation as to why he and his then-wife chose to appear on the program. He said, "They gave us furniture and a honeymoon and paid for the ring. That was the only way I could afford to get married." 

Still, eighteen years later, Van Dyke and his wife decided that they wanted to get married again, properly this time. He said, "We always talked about doing it again." However, he clarified that this wedding wouldn't be like the last, particularly in terms of size. He explained, "There'll just be the two of us and the minister. We had a crowd last time." 

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12 Comments

cperrynaples 8 months ago
It was reported yesterday that Dick Curtis died! You don't know his name, but you'll remember him as the nasty game show host who got Laura to reveal that Alan Brady wore a toupee [DUH!]! The scene where Laura confronts Alan is a classic!
LoveMETV22 8 months ago
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 8 months ago
I wondered why they showed 3 photos of DVD clearly having a migrane attack! I'm not certain, but I think it's the walnut episode!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 8 months ago
" I wondered why they showed 3 photos of DVD."
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Maybe? Also might just be what the writer of the article was thinking when they wrote it?
Deleted 8 months ago
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LoveMETV22 8 months ago
There are several websites by an individual named Spats White. Guess he was/is a famous ukulele player who knew Tiny Tim and said he would occasionally play right handed for w/e reason(s), so the photo may or may not be posed. You could Google Spats White if your interested in additional info.
8 months ago
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cperrynaples 8 months ago
Yep, TT only did old songs so of course he connected to Bing!
8 months ago
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