Joyce Van Patten


Actor

About

Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
March 09, 1934

Biography

This blonde actress, who has been on stage since her youth, developed into a fine character player of both comedy and drama, capable of a wide range from hard-as-nails dames to overbearing mothers to dull matrons to fraught, nervous Nellies. Her older brother Dick was already a working actor when their mother entered two-year old Joyce Van Patten in a Shirley Temple look-alike contest, w...

Family & Companions

Martin Balsam
Husband
Actor. Married in August 1959; divorced in 1962.
Denis Dugan
Husband
Actor, director.

Biography

This blonde actress, who has been on stage since her youth, developed into a fine character player of both comedy and drama, capable of a wide range from hard-as-nails dames to overbearing mothers to dull matrons to fraught, nervous Nellies. Her older brother Dick was already a working actor when their mother entered two-year old Joyce Van Patten in a Shirley Temple look-alike contest, which she won. Within four years, she was appearing on Broadway in "Love's Old Sweet Song." Over the course of the next fifty-odd years, Van Patten graced numerous plays including "Desk Set" (1952), with Shirley Booth and several of Neil Simon's efforts, including "I Ought to Be in Pictures" (1982, as the father's girlfriend), "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1983, as the aunt) and "Rumors" (1989) and "Jake's Women" (1992). She has also proven a fine replacement for such actresses in Ellen Burstyn in "Same Time, Next Year" and Judith Ivey in "A Fair Country" (in 1996).

In 1941, Van Patten made her screen debut alongside her brother in "Reg'lar Fellers," a decidedly 'B' programmer in which they were amongst the youths trying to warm the heart of a dour lady. Van Patten's career gathered its real steam after she became a young adult. She has a supporting role to Kim Stanley in "The Goddess" (1958) and played Peter Sellers' dull fiancee in "I Love You, Alice B. Toklas" (1968). Van Patten was the sweetly Southern rival to Lucille Ball's "Mame" (1974) and was the chair of the local little league who hoped to see Walter Matthau fail in "The Bad News Bears" (1976). "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985) cast her as wife to her real-life ex-husband Martin Balsam and among her maternal roles are "The Falcon and the Snowman" (1985), as parent to Timothy Hutton, and "Blind Date" (1987), as Kim Basinger's mom.

Van Patten also remained quite active in television. In 1956, she was in the original cast of the CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns" playing Janice Turner, the potential daughter-in-law of whom matriarch Nancy Hughes does not approve. She left the show after a year to join her brother in the NBC soap "Young Doctor Malone." In 1963, Van Patten headed for Hollywood, where she made an unsold pilot for a comedy skit show co-starring Paul Mazursky. She found regular employment as a member of the company of "The Danny Kaye Show" (CBS, 1964-67), although she did not appear in every episode. Her next regular gig was as Herb Edelman's wife, often exasperated by his friendship with Bob Denver, on "The Good Guys" (CBS, 1968-70) before she was tapped for the short-lived "The Don Rickles Show" (CBS, 1972) and "The Mary Tyler Moore Comedy Hour" (CBS, 1979). More recently. Van Patten spent two seasons (1995-96) as the takes-no-prisoners mother-in-law on The WB sitcom "Unhappily Ever After."

Life Events

1934

Was child model at age eight months

1936

Won Shirley Temple look-alike contest

1940

Began acting on Broadway in "Love's Old Sweet Song"

1941

Feature film debut, "Reg'lar Fellers"

1956

Was regular on the CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns"

1963

Made unsold pilot for potential variety series partnered with Paul Mazursky

1970

TV-movie debut, "But I Don't Want to Get Married" (ABC)

1972

Was regular on the CBS sitcom "The Don Rickles Show"

1974

Cast as Sally Cato the rival to "Mame"

1979

Appeared in the regular role of Mary's secretary in "The Mary Tyler Moore Comedy Hour" (CBS)

1982

Portrayed the diner owner Grace in the HBO remake of "Bus Stop"

1987

Cast as Kim Basinger's mother in "Blind Date"

1989

Last film role for seven years, "Trust Me"

1996

Returned to films in "Infinity"

1999

Appeared in the Broadway revival of "Ring Round the Moon"

2005

Guest-starred in ABC's "Desperate Housewives"

2008

Appeared in "Marley & Me" opposite Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson

2010

Appeared in the ensemble comedy "Grown Ups," about five friends who reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend; film starred Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider

Videos

Movie Clip

Bone (1972) - Take These Cars Off My Hands! The provocative opening of provocative writer-director Larry Cohen’s first feature, Andrew Duggan selling cars on TV against an unorthodox background, then finding a rat in the pool, with his wife (Joyce Van Patten) at their Beverly Hills mansion, in Bone, 1972, also starring Yaphet Kotto.
Bone (1972) - If You're Looking For Employment Presumably affluent Beverly Hills couple Bill and Bernadette (Andrew Duggan, Joyce Van Patten) are calling the pool service about a rat when Yaphet Kotto (title character) appears, and they assume he’s an exterminator, and things get tense, in writer-director Larry Cohen’s Bone, 1972.
Bone (1972) - We're Losing Our Shirts Gonzo Beverly Hills car salesman Bill (Andrew Duggan) and wife Bernadette (Joyce Van Patten) are being abused by sort-of home-invader Yaphet Kotto (title character), who’s discovered they’re broke, except for an account he’s been hiding, in Larry Cohen’s suspense comedy Bone, 1972.
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas - I Found Some Brownies Lawyer Harold (Peter Sellers), wedding planning with parents (Jo Van Fleet, Salem Ludwig) and fiancee' Joyce (Joyce Van Patten), who finds pot-laced brownies left by his secret overnight guest, in I Love You, Alice B. Toklas, 1968.
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! - Did The Earth Move? Where the phrase originated, after an opening with "The Guru" (Louis Gottlieb), Peter Sellers, girlfriend Joyce Van Patten, title song by Elmer Bernstein with screenwriters Larry Tucker and Paul Mazursky, from I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!, 1968.
Goddess, The (1958) - Portrait Of A Young Woman Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's formal second-act begins with starlet Rita (Kim Stanley) chatting up pals (Joyce Van Patten, Joanne Linville) at a Hollywood cafe, in John Cromwell's The Goddess, 1958.

Trailer

Family

Dick Van Patten
Brother
Actor.
Timothy Van Patten
Half-Brother
Director, actor. Received 2001 Emmy nominations for directing and writing episodes of "The Sopranos".
Talia Balsam
Daughter
Actor. Was briefly married to actor George Clooney.
Vincent Van Patten
Nephew
Actor, tennis pro.
Nels Van Patten
Nephew
Actor.
Jimmy Van Patten
Nephew
Actor.

Companions

Martin Balsam
Husband
Actor. Married in August 1959; divorced in 1962.
Denis Dugan
Husband
Actor, director.

Bibliography