Dick Van Dyke talks alcoholism struggle

Dick Van Dyke talks alcoholism struggle

Dick Van Dyke used to drink to combat his shyness.

The 'Mary Poppins' legend, who is 90, opened up about his struggle with alcohol addiction in a chat on 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?'

He said: "I was very shy - with strangers - I couldn't talk to people. And I found if I had a drink, it would loosen me up. The barriers went down and I became very social. That's what got me started."

Dick admitted his battle against the addiction "took a long time to get over".

But now he is thrilled that his tale has proved inspiring for others facing similar battles in their lives.

He added in the interview: "I get a lot of letters from people, who say all of a sudden they weren't ashamed to admit they had a drinking problem and they got help. So I'm very proud of that."

Dick's episode of 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?' will air on January 23.

The actor turned 90 back in December last year, and still appears to be as sprightly as ever.

Speaking previously about his secrets to staying young at heart, Dick told Entertainment Tonight: "I've always kept moving, which is the most important thing. I'm either singing or dancing or something."

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