Jul 1, 2023

Phillip Van Dyke

No relation to Dick Van Dyke or the muscular Barry Van Dyke of the show biz dynasty, Phillip Van Dyke was a popular child star of the 1990s, with guest spots on Picket Fences, Baywatch, and Step by Step.  His teenage roles lasted for only a few years: he starred in Safety Patrol (1998), as the leader of the bullies who bedevil Bug Hall, and in The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998), as a Tom Sawyer whose best buddy (Adam Dior) is named Chuck, not Huckleberry.

Nickelodeon fans will also recognize him as the voice of "football head" Arnold on the animated teencom Hey, Arnold (1997-2000).  Fourth grader Arnold and his best friend Gerald negotiate a dangerous world full of menacing teachers, crotchety grandparents, neighborhood hazards, and girls with crushes on them, notably the female bully Helga.

Phillip had his own Nickelodeon teencom, Noah Knows Best (2000), which lasted for only 13 episodes.

But he's probably most famous for his role as Luke, the goblin-turned human who assists the teenage witch sisters in Halloweentown (1998) and Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge (2002).  Except for a few feeble flirtations, Luke displays no interest in girls.

He received massive media exposure for his blond hair, blue eyes, and massive biceps, which he showed off whenever possible, even while playing a goblin.

As often happens with teen stars, when Phillip moved into adult roles, his adolescent buddy-bonding dried up.  He played some aggressively heterosexual characters on Boston Public and NYPD Blue before retiring from acting. Today he lives in San Francisco with his second wife and works in the corporate world.

  He's getting a little gray around the temples, but obviously still has an amazing physique. And he's totally a gay ally.

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