‘Eight is Enough’ star dies: Dick Van Patten

Published: June 23, 2015

‘Eight is Enough’ star dies: Dick Van Patten, Dick Van Patten, who played the paterfamilias on the 1980s TV dramedy “Eight Is Enough,” died on Tuesday morning. He was 86.

Patten died at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., due to complications from diabetes.

The always-genial, round-faced actor also appeared in Disney films including “Freaky Friday” (the original, Jodie Foster version) as well as Mel Brooks comedies “High Anxiety,” “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Space Balls.”

Though long associated with television and film comedies, the actor spent a great deal of time on stage, making the first of his two dozen or so appearances on Broadway as a child back in 1937, in Kurt Weill’s “The Eternal Road.”

He had most recently appeared onscreen in a guest role as Lester on TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland.” Other relatively recent credits include “7th Heaven” in 2004, “Arrested Development” in 2005, “That ’70s Show” in 2006 and “The Sarah Silverman Program” in 2008.

Van Patten starred as Tom Bradford, the father of eight children, on ABC’s “Eight Is Enough” from 1977-81. The show was based on the life of journalist Tom Braden, who had written a book of the same name. Van Patten also appeared in the 1987 reunion movie and 1989’s “An Eight Is Enough Wedding.” He reprised the role of Tom Bradford via voice work on the animated sitcom “Family Guy” in 1999.


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