LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Dick Van Patten, the actor best known for his role in the hit television series "Eight Is Enough," died of complications of diabetes on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 86.
In "Eight is Enough" Mr. Van Patten portrayed the character of Tom Bradford, the good-hearted patriarch of a family of eight children. The show, a major hit for ABC, ran from 1977 to 1981 and included several made for television movies. The series served as the starting point for the careers of several young actors, including Grant Goodeve (David), Willie Aames (Tommy), and Ralph Macchio.
Van Patten was also a regular player in Mel Brooks films, including roles in "High Anxiety," "Spaceballs," and "Men in Tights." Other films that Van Patten appeared in include: “Charly” (1968), “Joe Kidd” (1972), “Westworld” (1973), “Soylent Green” (1973).
In 1989, Van Patten helped to found the pet food company Natural Balance and helped to establish National Guide Dog Month.
Mr. Van Patten’s survivors include his sister Joyce, his wife Patricia, three sons and and a half brother, Timothy Van Patten. – Staff Writers