The Final Days of Dick Clark

As the country mourns the loss of TV legend Dick Clark, INSIDE EDITION looks at the details surrounding his death after a routine operation.

We're learning new details about Dick Clark's final hours. It turns out he had been hospitalized in Los Angeles and was about to undergo minor surgery when he suffered a massive fatal heart attack.

It happened at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. It's a highly regarded facility with a long history of treating high-profile celebrity patients. Nancy Reagan has been there. So has former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. And now, Dick Clark.

Clark first checked into the hospital last Friday, April 13th, for cataract surgey on one eye.

Congressman David Dryer of California was Clark's neighbor in Malibu. INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney asked Dryer, "How did the surgery go?"

"It went extraordinarily well. He could see perfectly out of his eye," said Dryer.

Clark was released the same day. He checked back in on Tuesday, April 17th for what's being called a minor surgical procedure on his prostate.

Dryer said, "It took 38 minutes and was a very minor thing. No cancer, no nothing."

Clark spent Tuesday night at the hospital and seemed vibrant Wednesday morning when his wife, Kari joined him for breakfast in his hospital room.

"Yesterday morning he was having breakfast with his wonderful wife, Kari. They were looking forward to getting ready to go home. Then he was going to have an outpatient procedure, and then, all of a sudden, this heart attack hit," said Dryer.

Clark was scheduled to undergo yet another procedure at the hospital today. It was to be the second round of cataract surgery. But shortly after breakfast with his wife, he died.

Tributes are pouring in from coast to coast. Last night's American Idol began with these words from Clark's handpicked successor, Ryan Seacrest.

"We can't begin tonight's show without acknowleding the passing of a television pioneer, and my dear friend, Dick Clark," said Seacrest.

Clark worked with many famous personalities over the years.  

Kathy Lee Gifford talked about working for him, saying, "He was a very sweet man. I worked for him. He had a huge production company and I worked for him several times. When you worked for Dick, you knew you were going to have a good time."

Marie Osmond first appeared on American Bandstand when she was just 13. On CBS This Morning, she shared her memories of paying tribute to a tearful Clark at the Daytime Emmy® Awards in 2010.

"It makes me cry," said Osmond. "He started to cry because it meant so much to him that people loved him so much."

Other stars also shared their remembrances at an entertainment industry foundation cancer benefit in Beverly Hills.

Sheryl Crowe told INSIDE EDITION, "My mom always got a very big kick out of the fact that all of her four children learned how to dance every Saturday morning freely in the living room with Dick Clark."

Rita Wilson told INSIDE EDITION, "Dick Clark was an icon. We would sit around and watch American Bandstand."

Martin Short said, "His legacy was that you could be that cool, that hip and that successful in show business."

INSIDE EDITION caught up with America's Got Talent judges Howie Mandell and Sharon Osbourne.

Mandell said, "I always look to him as somebody who created this industry."

Sharon Osbourne told INSIDE EDITION, "He made the way for many people in this industry. A great entrepreneur. But most of all, a great gentleman."