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This article's introduction section may not adequately summarize its contents. To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of the article's key points. (August 2010) This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (August 2010) Dick Van Patten Van Patten in April 2010 Born Richard Vincent Van Patten December 9, 1928 (1928-12-09) (age 82) New York City, New York, U.S. Occupation Actor Years active 1937–present Spouse Pat Van Patten (1954-present) Richard Vincent "Dick" Van Patten (born December 9, 1928) is an American actor, best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on the television sitcom Eight is Enough. Contents 1 Career 2 Personal life 3 Health 4 References 5 External links // Career Van Patten started his career in showbiz as a child actor on Broadway in 1937 in The Eternal Road as Dickie Van Patten; he went on to appear in twelve other Broadway plays as a teenager. He moved on to television and movies with the 1949 TV series Mama which ran from 1949 to 1957, and as patriarch Tom Bradford on Eight is Enough, 1977 to 1981. Patten also appeared in episodes of Sanford and Son, Banacek, Arrested Development, The Brian Keith Show, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, and Happy Days. He played the supporting role of Usher #1 alongside Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in the 1973 film Soylent Green. He has appeared in several films directed by Mel Brooks, including High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, as well as cameos in the music videos for "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Bedrock Anthem" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, and on The Weird Al Show.[1] Van Patten co-founded Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989. He also was a commentator for the World Series of Poker from 1993 to 1995. On November 1, 2009, Phoenix Books published "Eighty Is Not Enough", a book co-authored by Van Patten and Robert Baer in which Van Patten shares an 80-year journey of insights and anecdotes through the entertainment industry. He discusses his journey from his humble beginning in Queens, New York; his rise as a childhood star on Broadway during the Great Depression; working as an actor on the radio; the advent of television and his role in the second-ever live situation comedy "I Remember Mama"; a rough period between acting gigs; a rise back to the top that led the TV icon to the lead role on the popular hit show "Eight is Enough;" and subsequent roles in television and movies. Personal life Patten in May 2008 Van Patten was born in New York City, the son of Josephine Rose (née Acerno), an Italian American who worked in advertising, and Richard Byron Van Patten, a Dutch American interior decorator.[2] He is the older brother of actress Joyce Van Patten and the older half-brother of film director Tim Van Patten and the uncle of actress Talia Balsam. He has been married to Patricia Poole (aka Pat Van Patten) since 1954. They have three sons, all actors: Vincent Van Patten, Nels Van Patten, and Jimmy Van Patten. Nels is named for the character Dick played on the CBS TV series Mama. Dick Van Patten is related to several other well-known actors through marriages. His sister Joyce married actor Martin Balsam. They are the parents of actress Talia Balsam. Talia's first husband was actor George Clooney and she is now married to "Mad Men" actor John Slattery. Dick's son Vince Van Patten is married to The Young and the Restless actress Eileen Davidson, who has played "Ashley" for many years. Dick's other son Nels is married to former Baywatch regular Nancy Valen Health In January 2006, Van Patten was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a diabetic stroke. Van Patten, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, made a full recovery. References ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic: Video Facts ^ Dick Van Patten Biography (1928-) External links Official site Dick Van Patten at the Internet Movie Database Dick Van Patten at the Internet Broadway Database 2007 Interview in the Sherman Oaks Sun, page 16 Persondata Name Patten, Dick Van Alternative names Patten, Richard Vincent Van Short description Date of birth December 9, 1928 Place of birth New York City Date of death Place of death