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Dick Van Dyke made a rare public appearance in Southern California on Sunday to attend a special exhibition honoring his life.
The actor and comedian, 97, attended Dick Van Dyke – Moments in Time by photographer Laura Johansen. The portrait series, held at Malibu City Hall, was presented by the Malibu Arts Commission.
Accompanied by his wife Arlene Silver, 52, Van Dyke was photographed in dark cargo-style pants and a tweed jacket, appearing to be in jovial spirits throughout the one-hour Q&A and while leaving the venue.
According to the event’s website, Van Dyke met Johansen in 2015 when she took some photos of him and his family at a fan art exhibit. Van Dyke then asked the visual artist to become his “personal photographer.”
“Laura Johansen’s photographs are pure artwork, almost like paintings,” Van Dyke said, while his wife, who spoke on stage with her husband on Sunday to a packed crowd, noted that she was a “master of shadow and light.”
On Dec. 21, the TV pioneer’s legendary career will be showcased in a variety show tribute called Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic, airing on CBS.
The special, which the network announced on Thursday, will feature music and dance performances, special guests, along with a festive holiday number to honor the Mary Poppins star, who officially turns 98 on Dec. 13.
“I started with CBS under contract in 1955 with the CBS morning show, then The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis Murder,” Van Dyke said in a statement. “I’ve been with the CBS family for almost 70 years, and I couldn’t be prouder.”
“I’m incredibly honored that CBS will be throwing a 98th birthday special for me,” the four-time Emmy Award winner added. “Can’t wait to be part of the show!”
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Though the entertainer’s career still continues to thrive, he told PEOPLE back in February that he actually can’t bear to watch himself on TV, and typically avoids reruns of his hit series like The Dick Van Dyke Show and The New Dick Van Dyke Show.
“When we made those, [there] were three commercials in a half an hour. Now there’s about six commercials in a half an hour. So our old show is just cut to pieces,” he shared ahead of his appearance on The Masked Singer. “I can’t bear a look at it.”
When he does happen to come across his work, however, “he’ll talk about himself as if he’s another person,” Silver added to PEOPLE. “When he’s watching The Dick Van Dyke Show, he’ll talk about it like, ‘Look at him doing whatever.'”
Van Dyke also expressed to PEOPLE that he would like to return to the stage. “I would like to go back and do a play,” he said. “I’ve got enough material together to sit down to a one-man show, which I think I may do just for fun. I love to do that.”
In 2021, Van Dyke told Today that he doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon, saying, “I don’t think I’ll ever retire, unless they made me. It’s too much fun! It’s such a good life.”
Dick Van Dyke – Moments in Time, which opened on Nov. 19, will run through Jan. 5, from 8:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. local time at Malibu City Hall.