Years active 1935–2015
|Name Dick Patten|
|Full Name Richard Vincent Van Patten|
Born December 9, 1928 (1928-12-09) Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
Cause of death Complications from diabetes
Died June 23, 2015, Santa Monica, California, United States
Spouse Pat Van Patten (m. 1954–2015)
Children Vincent Van Patten, James Van Patten, Nels Van Patten
Siblings Joyce Van Patten, Tim Van Patten
Movies and TV shows Eight Is Enough, Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, High Anxiety, Mama
Similar People Vincent Van Patten, Jerry Van Dyke, Dick Van Dyke, Pat Van Patten, Joyce Van Patten
Veteran actor dick van patten 86
Richard Vincent Van Patten (December 9, 1928 – June 23, 2015) was an American actor, businessman, and animal welfare advocate, best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on the ABC television comedy-drama Eight Is Enough.
- Veteran actor dick van patten 86
- Actor dick van patten dies at 86
- Early life
- Other work
- Illness and death
Van Patten began work as a child actor and was successful on the New York stage, appearing in more than a dozen plays as a teenager. He worked in radio, on Duffy's Tavern. He later starred in numerous television roles including the long running CBS television series, I Remember Mama and Young Doctor Malone. Later, he would star or co-star in many feature films, including Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Spaceballs, Charlton Heston's Soylent Green and the Academy Award-winning Charly. Van Patten was the founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods and National Guide Dog Month.
Actor dick van patten dies at 86
Richard Vincent Van Patten was born in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York, the son of Richard Byron Van Patten, an interior decorator, and Josephine Rose (née Acerno), who worked in advertising. His mother was of Italian descent, while his father had Dutch and English ancestry. He began work as a model and actor as a child making his Broadway debut at the age of seven. He was successful on the New York City stage, appearing in a dozen theatrical plays before reaching his teen years. He later moved to Hollywood and began a lengthy career in film and television.
Van Patten's career in show business began as a child actor on Broadway in 1935 in Tapestry In Gray starring Melvyn Douglas. He was billed as "Dickie Van Patten" and went on to appear in twelve other Broadway plays as a teenager. He moved on to television with the role of Nels Hansen in the CBS series, Mama, about a Norwegian-American family living in San Francisco, California, in the early 20th century. It ran from 1949 to 1957. He was the family patriarch Tom Bradford on Eight Is Enough, which aired from 1977 to 1981 with a ten-to-eleven member cast and was loosely based on a book of the same name by the American journalist Thomas Braden.
Van Patten also appeared in episodes of Sanford and Son, Banacek, Arrested Development, The Brian Keith Show, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Adam-12, Emergency!, and Happy Days.
Van Patten had numerous leading roles in motion pictures including Joe Kidd, The Snowball Express and The Santa Trap. He played the supporting role of Usher #1 alongside Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in the film Soylent Green (1973).
He appeared in several films directed by Mel Brooks, including High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, as well as cameos in the music videos for "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Bedrock Anthem" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, and on The Weird Al Show. Van Patten played the role of Jack Benson in Opposite Day (2009), his last film.
He also was a commentator for the World Series of Poker from 1993 to 1995.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame honored Van Patten November 20, 1985, with a Star of Television marker at 1541 North Vine Street. On January 12, 2008, Van Patten received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
On November 1, 2009, Phoenix Books published Eighty Is Not Enough!, a book co-authored by Van Patten and Robert Baer in which Van Patten shares an 80-year journey of insights and anecdotes through the entertainment industry. He discusses his journey from his humble beginning in Queens, New York; his rise as a childhood star on Broadway during the Great Depression; working as an actor on the radio; the advent of television and his role in the second-ever live situation comedy Mama; a rough period between acting gigs; a rise back to the top that led the TV icon to the lead role on the popular hit show Eight Is Enough and subsequent roles in television and movies.
An animal enthusiast, Van Patten co-founded Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989. Van Patten's creation of his own brand of dog food was satirized in comedian John Hodgman's 2008 book: "More Information Than You Require," and was re-branded as Dick Van Patten's Hobo Chili for Dogs. He founded National Guide Dog Month which began in 2008 to raise awareness and money for non-profit guide dog schools in the United States accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.
Patriarch of a famous Hollywood family, Van Patten was the older brother of actress Joyce Van Patten, the older half-brother of film director and Emmy award winning television director/producer Tim Van Patten. He was married to Patricia Poole (aka Pat Van Patten) from 1954 until he died. She was a professional dancer on Broadway and a June Taylor Dancer on The Jackie Gleason Show where the couple met. They lived in Sherman Oaks, California. They had three sons, all actors: Vincent, Nels, and Jimmy. Nels, who is married to actress Nancy Valen, is named for the character Van Patten played on the CBS's Mama.
Van Patten was related to several other actors through marriages. His sister Joyce married actor Martin Balsam; their daughter is actress Talia Balsam. Talia's first husband was actor George Clooney, and she is now married to actor John Slattery. Van Patten's son Vince is married to actress Eileen Davidson.
Illness and death
In January 2005, Van Patten was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a diabetic stroke. Van Patten, who suffered from Type 2 diabetes, made a full recovery.
Van Patten died at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, on June 23, 2015, at age 86. Complications from diabetes were the listed cause.
Willie Aames, who played son Tommy Bradford on Eight Is Enough, called his television father "truly a gem [who] will be missed. ... As Dick always said, 'Remember our times together, gang ... Cause these ARE the good ole' days". Betty Buckley, Van Patten's co-star on the series, recalled, "Every day on the set he was a happy, jovial person, always generous and ready to play, tease, and always keep us all laughing. He was the consummate professional, a wonderful actor, master of comedy, and a kind and generous human being."
He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.
On November 20, 1985, Dick Van Patten was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2008, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.