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Richard Vincent Van Patten was an American actor, comedian, businessman, and champion for animal welfare whose career spanned seven decades in the medium of television. He was also an animal rights activist. His performance as the patriarch Tom Bradford on the comedy-drama series Eight Is Enough, which aired on ABC, brought him the most fame.
Van Patten started his career as an actor when he was a child and was popular on the New York stage. When he was a teenager, he appeared in more than a dozen plays. He had a job on the radio show “Duffy’s Tavern.” Later in his career, he had a variety of roles on television, some of the most notable of which were in the CBS television programmes “Mama” and “Young Doctor Malone.”
Later in his career, he would go on to star in or co-star in a number of feature films, some of which include Soylent Green, Charly, and Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights, among others, including Spaceballs. Natural Balance Pet Foods and National Guide Dog Month were both established by Van Patten, who also named them.
How Did Dick Van Patten Die?
Van Patten had a diabetic stroke in January of 2006 and was sent to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Type 2 diabetes that had plagued Van Patten was successfully treated, and he eventually returned to full health. At the age of 86, Van Patten passed away on June 23, 2015, at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. The official cause of death was noted as diabetes complications.
The actor who played Tommy Bradford’s son on “Eight Is Enough” (Willie Aames) once phoned his fictional dad (played by John Ritter) “He or she was a rare jewel and would be much missed. To paraphrase what Dick used to say, “Remember our times together, gang… Cause these ARE the good ol’ days.”
“. Van Patten’s co-star Betty Buckley remembered, “He was a positive presence on set every day, always eager to joke about and share his good mood with the rest of the crew. He was the epitome of professionalism, a brilliant performer in the role of the comic lead, and a warm and generous person in general.”
Forest Lawn Memorial Park, located in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, is where his body now rests.
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What About His Personal Life?
Richard Vincent Van Patten, better known as Dick Van Patten, was brought into the world on December 9, 1928 in the borough of Queens, New York, by his parents, Richard Byron Van Patten and Josephine Rose. He was the older brother of actress Joyce Van Patten and the older half-brother of film director Tim Van Patten.
He passed away in the early 1980s. His family tree revealed that he descended from Italians, Dutch people, and English people. On April 25, 1954, he wed Pat Van Patten, a dancer who performed professionally on Broadway. The couple went on to have three children together: Nels Van Patten, James Van Patten, and Vincent Van Patten, all of whom went on to pursue acting as a career.