Ryan Seacrest Reacts to Death of Friend and Idol Dick Clark

Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest

"He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life," Seacrest says of his late "New Year's Rockin' Eve" co-host.

The loss of TV legend Dick Clark was a particularly difficult one for multihyphenate Ryan Seacrest, who has long considered Clark an idol and mentor.

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In a statement, the American Idol host, who joined Clark on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin' Eve six years ago, waxed on about the late producer’s impact on both him and the industry.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark,” Seacrest says of Clark, who died Wednesday of a massive heart attack at 82.. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel."

He added: “When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last six years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I'll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him.”

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Seacrest has fashioned his career after Clark’s and often is compared to the American Bandstand host in both résumé and style. The younger host once shared a particularly meaningful piece of advice that has stuck with him as he’s added hosting duties: "Dick once said to me, 'If everyone who watches you on TV thinks that they can do your job, you're doing your job perfectly.' "