( 4UMF NEWS ) Dick Van Patten Dead:
Dick Van Patten, the venerable comic character actor who made millions chuckle on Eight is Enough and The Love Boat, has died. He was 86. His death was reported by People and Entertainment Weekly, among others.
EW reported he died in a Santa Monica hospital and the cause was complications from diabetes.
Van Patten was a familiar face on American TV for decades. But his best known role was that of beloved patriarch Tom Bradford on the family sitcom Eight is Enough, about the goofy dad of a family with eight kids that ran from 1977 to 1981.
The show was based on the real-life journalist Tom Braden, who had eight children and wrote a book about it, and later became one of the commentators on CNN’s Crossfire. Van Patten reprised the role in the 1987 TV movie Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion and in 1989’s An Eight Is Enough Wedding.
Van Patten was born in New York and started out as a child model and actor, billed as Dickie Van Patten. He appeared on the Broadway stage starting at age 7 and continued through his teen years, before moving to Hollywood and embarking on a long film and TV career, mostly in comic roles.
Among other shows, he also appeared on Happy Days, Sanford & Son, and Adam 12. He was a regular for six years on The Love Boat, starting in 1978 and playing a politician on the wacky cruise ship, and earlier played the ship doctor in a TV movie the preceded the show.
His numerous film roles included Soylent Green and a number of Mel Brooks films, including High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
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