Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke narrowly avoided death on Monday (19Aug13) when he was dragged out of his car moments before it burst into flames on a Los Angeles freeway.

Passing motorist Jason Pennington pulled the 87-year-old Mary Poppins star out of his Jaguar as it filled up with smoke after spotting him struggling on the side of the road.

His actions may have saved the movie icon's life - his vehicle's engine burst into flames seconds later.

Reports suggest Van Dyke was "slightly disoriented" but unharmed and he refused medical attention as he waited for his wife Arlene to pick him up and take him home. She tweeted video of her husband chatting to first responders to assure fans that the actor was Ok.

His burned-out Jaguar has since been removed from the freeway near Calabasas, California