07/09/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Despite the wide circulation of Dick Van Dyke's remark that he is about to retire, the TV favorite, who turns 75 in December, isn't hanging up his hat so fast. "I've been talking about retiring for years," he informed the Associated Press on Thursday. "It's my standard answer to the question, 'What are your future plans?' The truth is, I'll always be interested in things that are worthwhile and fun." Earlier in the week, Van Dyke, who currently stars on CBS's "Diagnosis Murder," told AP Radio, "It's time for me to go to pasture. Television's going, as far as I'm concerned, downhill, and I'm an anachronism." Van Dyke has been a TV star since 1961, when "The Dick Van Dyke Show" debuted. Before that he was a Broadway star, in "Bye Bye Birdie," in which he later starred in the popular 1962 movie version. In 1964, he and Julie Andrews co-starred in Walt Disney's mega-hit "Mary Poppins," which, according to Friday's Variety, will be re-released in 10 select cities next March -- in a special sing-along version (quite like the current limited release of Andrews's 1965 "The Sound of Music"). Chim-chim-cheree.