Dick Van Dyke is arguably one of the most beloved entertainers of the last century. With a career that has lasted more than seven decades, Van Dyke has brought his talents to the small screen, big screen and stage.
Perhaps one of Dick Van Dyke’s best known roles was that of Robert Petrie in his self-titled television show. The Dick Van Dyke Show aired for five seasons from 1961 to 1966 and followed the life of Petrie, a comedy writer for the fictional Alan Brady Show. The show also starred Mary Tyler Moore as Laura Petrie, Rob’s wife. The on-screen chemistry between Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore was undeniable and left fans wondering if the two also shared an off-screen romance.
In a 2017 interview following Mary’s death at the age of 80, The Dick Van Dyke Show‘s creator Carl Reiner opened up to ET about the pair’s connection during the show saying, “They both admitted later if they hadn’t been married to other people they definitely would have been a couple. They were made for each other.”
A year prior, Dick Van Dyke shared his fondness for Mary and their time sharing the spotlight, saying: “We became like an improv. You could just tell us a scene and we could make it up. She read me very well, and I read her timing very well, and it was just such a pleasure to work with her.”
Despite initially being concerned about Mary Tyler Moore taking on the role of his on-screen wife (she was 12 years younger than him), Van Dyke grew to love her and admitted to ET, “I had a real crush on her.”
“They really were attracted to each other, but they both had relationships and were very circumspect,” Reiner said.
Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore never dated, but remained close friends until her death. Hear the pair discuss their relationship in an interview with Larry King below.