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EXCLUSIVE: Dick Van Dyke Says His Shyness Led to Alcoholism: A Drink Loosened Me Up

by Jackie Willis 10:00 AM PST, January 21, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Dick Van Dyke Says His Shyness Led to Alcoholism: A Drink Loosened Me Up

Dick Van Dyke is getting quite candid on Oprah: Where Are They Now? with how he came to struggle with alcohol abuse.

"I was very shy -- with strangers -- I couldn't talk to people," the 90-year-old entertainment legend admits in ET's exclusive first look at his OWN interview. "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."

WATCH: Dick Van Dyke Turns 90 at Disneyland, Shows He Can 'Still Go Out and Play'

The veteran actor says that his struggle with alcoholism wasn't easy to overcome. "It took me a long time to get over it," he adds.

The 90-year-old actor says he is now using his story of substance abuse to help others overcome similar issues. "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," he shares. "So I'm very proud of that."

Photo: Getty Images

The season premiere of Oprah: Where Are They Now? featuring Van Dyke airs Saturday, Jan. 23, at 10/9c on OWN.

WATCH: Dick Van Dyke Ignites Family Feud With Brother Jerry on The Middle

When ET caught up with Van Dyke in October, he revealed his secrets to staying young. "I've always kept moving, which is the most important thing," he said. "I'm either singing or dancing or something."

Check out the TV icon's other tips to maintaining youthfulness:

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