Dick Van Patten Dies At 86, But The 'Eight Is Enough' & 'Love Boat' Star Will Never Be Forgotten
On Tuesday, Hollywood lost another beloved and talented face. Eight Is Enough and The Love Boat actor Dick Van Patten died at 86 on Tuesday morning, the actor's publicist Jeff Ballard confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The media outlet reports that Van Patten died in Santa Monica, California at Saint John's Hospital due to complications from diabetes. In a statement released by Ballard, he said of the actor: "He was the kindest man you could ever meet in life. A loving family man. They don't make them like him anymore." Van Patten is survived by his wife of 62 years, Pat, their three sons, Nels, Jimmy, and Vincent, his sister Joyce Van Patten, his half-brother Tim Van Patten, and niece Talia Balsam, an actress who appeared on Mad Men.
Before making it big on TV and movie screens, the iconic actor was born in Kew Gardens, New York, where he began a modeling and acting career as a young boy. Eventually, he starred on Broadway's Tapestry in Gray at seven years old. After that, his career took off and Van Patten soon enough made a name for himself as the patriarch Tom Bradford on Eight Is Enough. He also starred on many other famous shows, including The Love Boat, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, That '70s Show, and Hot in Cleveland. Furthermore, he became popular for starring several Mel Brooks films, like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and quite a few Disney productions, including the 1976 version of Freaky Friday.
When Van Patten wasn't busy being an actor, he used his time to benefit animals. Per THR, he helped launch Natural Balance Pet Foods, a holistic pet food brand. In addition, he even founded National Guide Dog Month to raise awareness and funds for nonprofit guide dog schools across the United States.
There's no doubt Van Patten will never be forgotten, which is proven here by his co-stars, friends, family, and fellow celebs.