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Ryan Seacrest: Dick Clark 'one of greatest influences in my life'

Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark
"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, considered to be the heir apparent to Dick Clark, said on Twitter that he was "deeply saddened" by news of the death of his friend and mentor.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark," Seacrest tweeted. "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life."

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family," he tweeted.

PHOTOS: Dick Clark | 1929 - 2012

After Clark suffered a stroke in 2004, Seacrest began co-hosting duties for ABC's New Year's Eve show at Times Square.

On his website, Seacrest wrote: "I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year’s Eve for the last 6 years."

"He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman," Seacrest said. "I learned a great deal from him, and I’ll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him.”


Celebrities react on Twitter

Dick Clark, pioneer of radio and TV

Dick Clark dies of 'massive heart attack' after procedure

-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Dick Clark, right, and Ryan Seacrest in a promotional photo for "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2012." Credit: ABC

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