Eight is Enough Star Dick Van Patten Dead at 86
Dick Van Patten best known as the loving father, Tom Bradford on Eight is Enough is dead. He was 86.
The actor died Tuesday morning. His rep released a statement saying, “I am sorry to report this sad news,” adding, “His family will not be doing any press at this time.” While there was no official cause of death People is reporting that it was due to complications from diabetes.
The actor got his start acting and modeling. He was only 7 when he made his debut on Broadway, and he went on to appear in almost 30 more shows. His first television role was in 1949 on I Remember Mama before appearing on The New Dick Van Dyke Show and Happy Days.
He went on to star as Tom Bradford, loving father of eight kids on the popular 80’s show Eight is Enough. In a time when family television rarely included single parents, Van Patten’s warmth helped make the show a hit.
The actor was also a presence in many Disney movies as well as a few by director Mel Brooks. He showed his comedic side in High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
The actor also made guest appearances on The Love Boat recently joining his castmates for a reunion and helping to christen a new Regal Princess cruise ship.
His autobiography Eighty is Not Enough was published in 2009. Born in Kew Gardens, New York, his career spanned seven decades and he wrote, “I’ve probably had more jobs than any other actor living.” He worked with Tallulah Bankhead, was Burt Lancaster’s roommate, lived next door to Michael Jackson and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Van Patten was more than his lengthy career. He was a loving husband for over 60 years to wife, Patricia Van Patten. They shared three sons: Nels, Jimmy, and Vincent.