“Extra” host Mario Lopez opened up to Maria Menounos about the death of his mentor, Dick Clark, and the impact the entertainment icon had on his life.
“He was awesome,” said Lopez. “A very serious individual, hardworking, a savvy businessman. I was always picking his brain because he had many businesses outside of the entertainment industry… for example, he owned all of the Krispy Cremes in the UK. He always thought of himself as a businessman first and an entertainer second.”
Mario remembered, “He had such an influence on my life. He really helped sort of navigate and change my approach toward this business. He made me look at the big picture, to be open-minded about being a host, getting into producing, owning properties, writing and being diverse. He really exposed me to a lot of things that I probably would not have been privy to other wise.”
As for working with Clark on “The Other Half” in 2002, Lopez said, “It was an honor and a privilege. The fact that I got to become his friend was even more important. He liked me because I always had a strong work ethic, and he appreciated that.”
In fact, Clark stayed in touch with Lopez for rest of his life. Mario explained, “He used to send me letters every four-six months. He wasn’t a big email guy; he was a letter guy. The last one [Mario received] was that he watches ‘Extra’ and he liked what he saw. ‘You’re doing a good job, kiddo.’”
If there was one thing Mario could say to Clark, what would it be? “Thank you for being such a role model, mentor, a positive influence in my life. For taking me under your wing and allowing me to call you a friend. You’re were a great man, but even a better friend.”