About alcoholism facts About alcoholism and drug abuse About alcoholism treatment About alcoholism in bible About alcoholism buddy t About alcoholism info Alcoholism about withdrawal Movies about alcoholism Songs about alcoholism More about alcoholism Abo. Dick Van Dyke opens up about alcoholism: It took me a long time to get over it -

Famous for his enthusiasm and dynamism as a performer, Dick Van Dyke told Oprah Winfrey that his shyness among strangers led to an extended bout of alcoholism, according to "Entertainment Tonight." About alcoholism.

"I was very shy — with strangers — I couldn't talk to people," the 90-year-old actor told Winfrey, according to the "ET" exclusive. "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."

After that, "ET" reported, alcoholism took hold on the "Mary Poppins" star. "It took me a long time to get over it," Van Dyke reportedly told Winfrey for the season premiere of OWN's "Where Are They Now?"

He's since turned that negative into a positive. "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," Van Dyke reportedly told Winfrey. "So, I'm very proud of that."

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The new season of "Where Are They Now?" premieres Saturday at 10 p.m. This season also includes interviews with interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent; soccer icon Brandi Chastain; and journalist Joan Lunden, who discusses the breast-cancer battle she candidly chronicled as a contributor to TODAY.

Shortly before Van Dyke turned 90 in December, he exuded that positivity — and seemingly boundless energy — while speaking with NBC News' Joe Fryer.

"There's a fear of getting old, among the young, that's worse than the fear of death; it's amazing," Van Dyke told Fryer for a segment that aired on TODAY. "And I want them to know that old age can be wonderful. It's the best time of my life, by far."

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