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Dick Van Patten

Dick Van Patten

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Also Known As: Richard Vincent Van Patten, Dickie Van Patten Died:
Born: December 9, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kew Gardens, New York, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Recognizable for his perennially cherubic countenance and myriad roles of mild-mannered and beleaguered fathers or authority figures on the big and small screen, Dick Van Patten boasted one of the lengthiest and most varied résumés in the acting business. As a child, Van Patten performed alongside giants of Broadway during its Golden Age in some of the theater's greatest works, became a familiar face nationally in the early days of television, and deftly avoided the "child actor curse" that some of his later co-stars could not, working consistently for six decades. Becoming a patriarch of a prolific show business family of his own, he briefly came to engender an American everydad in the 1970s comedy/drama "Eight is Enough" (ABC, 1977-1981), even as he built his comedic bona fides as a regular in the goofball ensemble often used by director Mel Brooks in classic comedies like "High Anxiety" (1977). In his later years, Van Patten essayed his lifelong love of animals into a successful line of pet food products that bore his name and image. This, on top of a career in which, by his own onetime estimate, "I've probably had more jobs than any other actor living."

Recognizable for his perennially cherubic countenance and myriad roles of mild-mannered and beleaguered fathers or authority figures on the big and small screen, Dick Van Patten boasted one of the lengthiest and most varied résumés in the acting business. As a child, Van Patten performed alongside giants of Broadway during its Golden Age in some of the theater's greatest works, became a familiar face nationally in the early days of television, and deftly avoided the "child actor curse" that some of his later co-stars could not, working consistently for six decades. Becoming a patriarch of a prolific show business family of his own, he briefly came to engender an American everydad in the 1970s comedy/drama "Eight is Enough" (ABC, 1977-1981), even as he built his comedic bona fides as a regular in the goofball ensemble often used by director Mel Brooks in classic comedies like "High Anxiety" (1977). In his later years, Van Patten essayed his lifelong love of animals into a successful line of pet food products that bore his name and image. This, on top of a career in which, by his own onetime estimate, "I've probably had more jobs than any other actor living."

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sarah's Choice (2009)
3.
 Another Pretty Face (2002) Levi Downs
4.
 Santa Trap, The (2002) Santa Claus
5.
6.
 Price of Air, The (2000) Mr Rye
7.
 Love Is All There Is (1996) Dr Rondino
8.
 Demolition High (1996) Gen Wainwright
9.
 Break, The (1995) Mr. Tennis
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Broke into show business after winning beautiful child contest
:
Screen tested by MGM; failed to impress and did not receive a contract offer
1935:
Made Broadway debut in "Tapestry in Gray" with Melvyn Douglas
1936:
Early TV appearance on "Story Hour"
1941:
Made radio debut on "Young Widder Brown"
1941:
Feature film debut in "Reg'lar Fellers"
1948:
Played opposite Henry Fonda in "Mister Roberts" on Broadway
1949:
Played Nels on CBS sitcom "Mama"
1961:
Appeared on soap opera "Young Dr. Malone" (NBC)
1968:
Had role in feature film "Charly"
1971:
Co-starred on NBC sitcom "The Partners"
1972:
Made TV-movie debut in "Hec Ramsey" (NBC)
1972:
Co-starred on "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS)
1975:
Played Friar Tuck on "When Things Were Rotten" (ABC), produced by Mel Brooks
1976:
Originated the role of Captain Steubing in "The Love Boat" two-hour pilot (ABC)
1977:
Co-starred with Mel Brooks in "High Anxiety"
1977:
Starred as Tom Bradford, the head of a family with eight very independent children, on "Eight Is Enough" (ABC)
1987:
Starred in first "Eight Is Enough" reunion TV-movie (NBC)
1990:
Returned to series TV on the one-hour CBS drama "WIOU"
1993:
Returned to Mel Brooks' rep company in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"
1996:
Appeared in national touring company of revival of "Show Boat" as Captain Andy
1999:
Headlined the world premiere of the stage musical "Scandals" at Theatre Virginia
2001:
Toured in "The Sunshine Boys" with Frank Gorshin
2005:
Guest starred on Fox's "Arrested Development"
2009:
Co-authored with Robert Baer the memoir <i>Eighty Is Not Enough: One Man's Journey Through American Entertainment</i>
2009:
Featured alongside Pauly Shore in the comedy "Opposite Day"
2010:
Appeared on an episode of "Celebrity Ghost Stories" (Biography Channel)
2011:
Made a guest appearance on TV Land sitcom "Hot in Cleveland"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"My mother was a real stage mother. On the other hand, it's terrible if a stage mother pushes a child into a business. People berate stage mothers--but how about mothers who push their kids to become doctors and lawyers?" --Dick Van Patten to Army Archerd in DAILY VARIETY, February 28, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Patricia Van Patten. Had three; survived him.
wife:
Patricia Van Patten. Dancer. Married on April 25, 1954.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Richard Van Patten. Engineer. French.
father:
Richard Van Patten. Interior decorator.
mother:
Josephine Van Patten. Survived him.
sister:
Joyce Van Patten. Raised him as a single mother, allegedly abusing her son before surrendering him to a series of state group homes and institutions; estranged from him.
sister:
Joyce Van Patten. Actor.
half-brother:
Timothy Van Patten. Director, actor. Received Emmy nominations in 2001 for work on "The Sopranos".
half-brother:
Timothy Van Patten. Has two daughters by her second husband.
son:
Nels Van Patten. Tennis pro.
son:
Nels Van Patten. Has five.
son:
Jimmy Van Patten. Former actor.
son:
Jimmy Van Patten. Had seven.
son:
Vincent Van Patten. Actor, tennis pro. Born October 17, 1957.
son:
Vincent Van Patten. Survived her.
niece:
Talia Balsam. Actor.
niece:
Talia Balsam. Italian.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Launching Your Child in Show Business" General Publishing

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