Dick Van Dyke to Receive Prince Rainier III Humanitarian Award

Associated Press
Dick Van Dyke

The Hollywood legend will accept the Princess Grace Foundation's honor at an Oct. 8 gala

On Oct. 8, Dick Van Dyke will add another accomplishment to his already impressive résumé, which spans seven decades in the entertainment industry and includes a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award and a place in the Television Hall of Fame. His newest accolade, PGF-USA’s Prince Rainier III Award, recognizes prominent artists in film, television and theater who have demonstrated service to their communities.

The Prince Rainier III Award will be presented to Van Dyke at the 2014 Princess Grace Awards as part of the Princess Grace Foundation’s annual gala, which returns to Los Angeles for the first time in almost 30 years. Each year, the Gala seeks to highlight the work of emerging artists who have received grants and fellowships from the foundation in the memory of actress Grace Kelly, princess of Monaco. Cary Jogi Fukunaga, who won an Emmy Monday night for directing best drama nominee True Detective, was one such emerging artist and scholarship recipient in 2005. This year's gala is being co-chaired by Dick Wolf and his wife, Noelle; Bob Iger and his wife, Willow Bay; and Sidney Toledano and his wife, Katia; and will be sponsored by Dior Haute Couture.

Some of Van Dyke’s charitable endeavors that led him to receive this award include 20 years of volunteer work at the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles, campaigns to increase funding for music and art programs in schools, and acting as a spokesperson for the Cell Therapy Foundation and the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation.

“Throughout his legendary career, Dick Van Dyke has touched hearts, lifted spirits, and spread joy and laughter around the world through his brilliant, timeless performances," Iger said. "He has also used the spotlight to raise awareness of important issues, supported music and arts programs in our public schools, and for more than 20 years, he’s made life a little brighter for the men and women at L.A.’s Midnight Mission. Dick has entertained us all while making a very real difference in the lives of others, and we are proud to recognize his incredible career and character with this year’s Prince Rainier III Award.”

Added PGF-USA executive director Toby Boshak: “As an icon in the entertainment industry, Mr. Van Dyke is commemorated for using his celebrity to help people live full and meaningful lives He pursues helping children, teens and at-risk individuals with the same passion and fervor we have witnessed in his artistry over the years."

Van Dyke will receive his award in the presence of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Oct. 8. They will be joined by a host committee comprised of Jerry Bruckheimer, Reese Witherspoon, and past Prince Rainier III recipients Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mandy Patinkin, Cicely Tyson and Denzel Washington, among others.

The host committee includes Linda and Jerry Bruckheimer, Ron Burkle, Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin, Lisa and Richard Plepler, Baryshnikov, Patinkin, Cecilia Peck-Voll and Daniel Voll, Barbara Sinatra, Tyson, Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Witherspoon and Jim Toth, and many others.

Other past recipients of the award include Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, George Lucas and Twyla Tharp.

The foundation will also donate $25,000 to an organization of Van Dyke’s choice to assist in his philanthropic efforts.

For more information, visit the organization's website.