Dick Van Patten Biography


Birthday: December 9, 1928 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Kew Gardens, New York, United States

Dick Van Patten was an American actor who was also known for his contributions as an animal welfare advocate. He was popular among the television audience for playing the character of ‘Tom Bradford’ in the ABC comedy-drama series ‘Eight Is Enough’, and ‘Jerry’ in the American religious-themed weekly anthology series ‘Insight’. In a career that spanned over sixty years, Van Patten had more than 150 credits to his name across films and television shows. His popular works on television include 'Mama’, ‘The Streets of San Francisco’, ‘The Love Boat’, ‘Hotel’, and ‘Touched by an Angel’. He had worked in numerous films in his career including ‘High Anxiety’, ‘Spaceballs’, ‘Final Embrace’, ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ and ‘Big Brother Trouble’. Apart from playing leading roles in a handful of films and television shows, Dick had also appeared in numerous television shows as well as films in guest roles. He was an avid animal lover and made tremendous contributions to the field of animal welfare. He was especially concerned about cats and dogs.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Richard Vincent Van Patten

Died At Age: 86


Spouse/Ex-: Pat Van Patten

father: Richard Byron Van Patten

mother: Josephine Rose

siblings: Joyce Van Patten, Tim Van Patten

children: James Van Patten, Nels Van Patten, Vincent Van Patten

Actors Comedians

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

Died on: June 23, 2015

place of death: Santa Monica, California, United States

Ancestry: Dutch American, British American, Italian American

Cause of Death: Complications Of Diabetes

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Dick Van Patten started his acting career as a child artist in 1935 on the Broadway when he was picked to play a role in ‘Tapestry In Gray.’ He later went on to appear in more than a dozen other Broadway productions during his teenage years. In 1949, he was offered the role of ‘Nels Hansen’ in the CBS Television comedy-drama series ‘Mama’, starring Peggy Wood, Judson Laire, and Rosemary Rice, apart from Dick Van Patten. He was one of the lead characters in the show and appeared between 1949 and 1957.
Before making his film debut in 1963, he appeared in many television shows, mostly in guest roles. These included ‘The Silent Service’, ‘Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer’, ‘Rawhide’, and ‘Young Doctor Malone’. In 1963, he made his debut in the film industry with the role of ‘Lt. Palmer’ in the film ‘Violent Midnight’. His friendship with the then-president of ABC landed him the role of ‘Tom Bradford’ in the ABC comedy-drama series ‘Eight Is Enough’, developed by William Blinn. The show was mostly based on the book of the same title by the American journalist Thomas Braden and Dick was part of the show between 1977 and 1981.
During the late 1970s and the 1980s, Dick Van Patten was part of several television shows including ‘The Love Boat’, ‘Too Close for Comfort’, ‘Hotel’, ‘The New Mike Hammer’, ‘Rags to Riches’, and ‘Growing Pains’. During the next decade, he appeared in shows like ‘Diagnosis: Murder’, ‘Baywatch’, ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, ‘Touched by an Angel’, and ‘The Love Boat: The Next Wave’.
He had appeared in many films as well. He worked in several films of his director friend Mel Brooks, including the satirical comedy film ‘High Anxiety’, the comic science fiction film ‘Spaceballs’, and the musical adventure comedy film ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’. His other film roles were in popular movies like ‘Final Embrace’, ‘Love Is All There Is’, ‘Big Brother Trouble’, and ‘Groom Lake’. He last appeared in a film in 2009, when he played the role of ‘Jack Benson’ in the film ‘Opposite Day’.
Apart from being a great actor in the film and television industry, Dick Van Patten also contributed to the field of animal welfare. He founded the ‘Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods’, an American pet food manufacturing company, in 1989. He also founded ‘National Guide Dog Month’ to raise awareness and money for non-profit guide dog schools in the United States.
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Awards & Honors
Dick Van Patten was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 20, 1985, and was honored with a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars in 2008.
Personal Life
Dick Van Patten was born as Richard Vincent Van Patten in Queens, New York, on December 9, 1928 to Richard Byron Van Patten and Josephine Rose. He was the older brother of actress Joyce Van Patten and older half-brother of film director Tim Van Patten. He had Italian, Dutch, and English ancestry in his bloodline.
He married professional Broadway dancer Pat Van Patten on 25 April 1954, and had three children together, Nels Van Patten, James Van Patten, and Vincent Van Patten, all of whom are actors by profession.
Illness & Death
Van Patten was a type 2 diabetic. He suffered a diabetic stroke in 2005 and was rushed to the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He recovered fully from the complications at that time. Later, on June 23, 2015, he died at the Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California due to complications from diabetes. His mortal body was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Dick Van Patten Movies

1. Soylent Green (1973)

  (Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Sci-Fi)

2. Charly (1968)

  (Sci-Fi, Romance, Drama)

3. Westworld (1973)

  (Western, Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller)

4. High Anxiety (1977)


5. Spaceballs (1987)

  (Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comedy)

6. Joe Kidd (1972)


7. Snowball Express (1972)

  (Family, Comedy)

8. Treasure of Matecumbe (1976)

  (Western, Adventure, Family)

9. Freaky Friday (1976)

  (Fantasy, Comedy, Family)

10. Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

  (Comedy, Adventure, Romance, Musical)

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