Dick Van Dyke Calls 'Having a Beautiful Young Wife Half My Age' His Secret to Staying Young at 97

The Mary Poppins star tied the knot with Arlene Silver, 51, in 2012

Dick Van Dyke appeared on the season 9 premiere of The Masked Singer and proved that at 97, he hasn't slowed down. The Mary Poppins star — who married Arlene Silver, 51, in 2012 — credits a few different reasons he's stayed young at heart.

"Genes, I guess, for one thing," Van Dyke recently told Yahoo! Entertainment. "Having a beautiful young wife half my age to take care of me — that works! My positive attitude, I get that from my wife."

Dick Van Dyke and Arlene Silver attend the 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on May 21, 2021 in Washington, DC
Paul Morigi/Getty

The four-time Emmy winner also stays active. "I wrote a book called Keep Moving: I still go to the gym three days a week and work out," he continued. "And I advise everybody to do that, because that's what ages people — it's just a stiffening up and not exercising their muscles and their lungs. Exercise is the answer."

Van Dyke told PEOPLE he and Silver love singing around the house.

Dick Van Dyke and wife Arlene Silver arrive at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California

"Every day my beautiful wife sings," he said. "There's a lot of duets going on around the house most of the day."

In fact, Silver taught herself some of Van Dyke's favorite songs over the pandemic.

"I learned all the music he knows so I can keep him singing," she told PEOPLE. "Every show tune, every standard. I know all of them now, and I didn't know any of them before."

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The couple regularly hosts karaoke parties at their house and celebrated Valentine's Day with one such gathering last week.

"We have a karaoke party, and all the gang that we know who like to sing come over," Van Dyke said. "And we all get in the living room and sing all evening. It's a tradition."

Silver described it as "group singing where you have the karaoke track on the TV."

"Everyone has a mic with a speaker on it and so it's more of a full sound than if you're just karaoke with one person sings," she continued. "And then more people sing that normally wouldn't because they don't have to get up and sing."

The Masked Singer
Michael Becker/FOX

Silver also helped Van Dyke select the song he performed as Gnome on The Masked Singer, Frank Sinatra's "When You're Smiling."

"They wanted me to do something current and I know nothing from rock," Van Dyke said. "So we picked out one which typifies me. She's the one that came up with it and I liked the song, too."

Van Dyke said he'd love to return to the stage with a one-man show, and he can't believe the career success he's had so far.

"When I was young, I really was hoping to make a living. What happened to me was such a surprise," he says. "The successes I've had, I still can't get over it."

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