Dick Clark’s remains cremated; further service plans not finalized

Posted at 10:28 PM, Apr 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-21 08:08:00-04

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Dick Clark, the music impresario and host of “American Bandstand” who died this week, has been cremated, his representative said Friday.

“He has been cremated, but no other plans have been finalized,” Clark publicist Paul Shefrin told CNN.

Clark, 82, suffered a heart attack Wednesday while at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, for an outpatient procedure, Shefrin said. Attempts to resuscitate Clark were unsuccessful, he said.

As the host of the popular “American Bandstand,” Clark shaped American tastes in music trends, and with a fresh-scrubbed, boy-next-door persona, he introduced the world to likes of Buddy Holly and James Brown.

In December 2004, Clark suffered what was then described as “a mild stroke,” just months after announcing he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

That stroke forced Clark to cut back on his on-camera work, including giving up the hosting duties for the “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” specials. He appeared briefly as a co-host with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2005.

Born Richard Wagstaff Clark in Mount Vernon, New York, on November 30, 1929, he began his broadcast career working at a radio station managed by his father.

Clark’s “American Bandstand” began as a local TV show in Philadelphia in 1956. The show was picked up by ABC and broadcast nationally a year later.

By 1958, it was the show to watch, with 40 million viewers tuning in to learn about the latest in music.

“If you didn’t go on ‘American Bandstand,’ you hadn’t made it yet,” singer Aretha Franklin told CNN’s “AC360.”

The savvy entrepreneur was a pioneer in introducing African-American groups and other performers to millions of young TV viewers.

His audiences were among the first integrated on television.

In 1960, the Ku Klux Klan sent death threats to Clark when he brought his short-lived “American Bandstand” spinoff “The Dick Clark Show” to Atlanta. The National Guard was called in to protect the show and its integrated audience — black and white teens.