Dick Van Patten, who played the family patriarch on the ABC series Eight Is Enough, has died, his publicist Jeff Ballard confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 86.
The soft-spoken actor died Tuesday morning at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica due to complications from diabetes.
“He was the kindest man you could ever meet in life. A loving family man. They don’t make them like him anymore,” Ballard said in a statement.
Van Patten’s Eight Is Enough character Tom Bradford was named No. 33 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest Dads of All Time” in 2004, and his 2009 autobiography was titled Eighty Is Not Enough.
Eight Is Enough, about a family with eight kids, ran for five seasons on ABC, from 1977 to 1981. His character played a columnist for a Sacramento newspaper.
Van Patten appeared in all media: on the stage, radio (in more than 600 shows), TV and films. He made several movie performances and was seen in three Mel Brooks comedies: High Anxiety (1977), Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), and he portrayed Friar Tuck on a Brooks sitcom, When Things Were Rotten.
He also starred in such family films as Superdad (1973), The Strongest Man in the World (1975), The Shaggy D.A. (1976) and Gus (1976).
More recently, he guest-starred on such TV series as Arrested Development, That 70’s Show and Hot in Cleveland.