The actor made frequent appearances in all types of media: stage, TV and film. He was suffering from diabetes for a long time
Dick Van Patten, who was probably best known for playing starring role in 70s hit series “Eight is Enough” died on Tuesday morning in Santa Monica, California.
Dick Van Patten’s longtime agent confirmed his death. The seemingly pleasant actor was suffering from diabetes Type 2 and also had a diabetic stroke in early 2006. He died in Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica due to diabetes complications.
Born in New York, Dick Van Patten began his career as a child actor, making several appearances on Broadway before heading to television in 1949. He played a memorable character in one of the TV’s earliest series “Mama.”
Patten went on to appear in numerous television series, ranging from cop show “Naked City” to sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie” to comedic series “Love, American Style”. Patten was appeared as a guest star in most of the series and rarely landed the lead roles. His most popular role as being a lead actor was in ABC series of late 70s “Eight is Enough” where he played a family patriarch named Tom Bradford. The series was inspired by a real-life syndicated newspaper columnist who had eight children and based on the different events occurred in his life. The series ran for four seasons, from March 1977 to August 1981.
Patten frequently appeared on big screen as well. He was mostly seen in the films of Mel Brooks, who cast him in High Anxiety (1977), Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).
“It’s great…It’s not like work. He keeps you laughing the whole day on the set.” Patten once talked about working with Brooks.
His other notable appearances include Soylent Green (1973), Freaky Friday (1976) and Oscar award- winning film Charly (1968).
Dick Van Patten was also an animal rights activists. He was the founder of Natural Balance Pet Food as well as the National Guide Dog Month, set up in 1989 and 2008 respectively. He is survived by his wife Pat Van Patten with whom he married in 1954, which lasted till his death and three sons Nels, Jimmy and Vincent.
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Source: Hollywood Reporter