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In Memoriam: Dick Van Patten

June 27, 2015

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Dick Van Patten, the actor well known for playing the father on the 1970s TV series Eight is Enough has passed away. His longtime agent Budd Burton Moss confirmed his passing, stating that Van Patten had been ill for a while. He died Tuesday morning at a hospital in Santa Monica, California, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Van Patten was 86 years old.

During his childhood, Van Patten worked as a model and actor, making his Broadway debut when he was just 7 years old. A successful child actor in New York stage productions, he appeared in a dozen plays during his teen years.

His film and TV career began in 1949 playing Nels Hansen on the show Mama. He guest starred on shows including Rawhide, I Dream of Jeannie, Arnie, Sanford and Son, The Don Rickles Show, The Partners, Love, American Style, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, When Things Were Rotten, The Love Boat, Maude, and The Six Million Dollar Man before starring as the patriarch in Eight is Enough. He also guest starred in several episodes of The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, The Facts of Life, WIOU, Boy Meets World, Arrested Development, and his final onscreen role was in Hot in Cleveland.

His film roles included an Eight is Enough: A Family Reunion and An Eight is Enough Wedding. He also starred in Mel Brooks’ films High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

In addition to his film and TV work, he was the founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods and National Guide Dog Month. In 1985 he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2008 a Golden Palm Star was dedicated to him on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars.

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