Dick Van Patten: 'Eight is Enough' Actor Dies at 86

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Dick Van Patten, best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on the TV series Eight is Enough, died earlier on Tuesday due to complications from diabetes.

The actor's rep, Jeff Ballard, commented on his passing.

"He was the kindest man you could ever meet in life," he said. "They don't make them like him anymore."

In addition to his work on Eight is Enough, Dick Van Patten appeared on several shows during the past few years, including The Love Boat. In 2011 he made a guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland, and in the past decade he guest starred on That 70s Show and Arrested Development.

"I like to do TV series. I think they're so comfortable. You're doing the same part every week," Dick Van Patten said in an interview several years back. "You're working with the same people and there's a lot of recognition. I like to do series best. I really do."

Born in New York City, Dick Van Patten debuted on Broadway at the age of seven. Eventually moving to Hollywood, he starred in both TV roles and in films. He appeared in several Mel Brooks films including Spaceballs, High Anxiety, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

Married to Patricia Van Patten for more than 60 years, Dick Van Patten is survived by his wife and their three sons.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.