Dick Van Patten, congenial actor, whose calming presence and everyman looks endeared him to a career in Hollywood which included playing character actors and sometimes leading roles, arguably the most remembered of which was the loving and fair dad on the light dramedy Eight is Enough, has died of complications from diabetes at the age of 86 in Santa Monica, California.
There seemed to be an ease about gazing at Van Patten on the small and big screen, no matter what the role or genre he appeared in. Starting his career on Broadway back in 1935, Van Patten had appeared on one of television’s very first long running programs once that medium began to flourish, titled Mama, back in 1949. It led to countless appearances on the small and large screen thereafter, especially during the 1970s, with a resume that almost resembled an A to Z of TV during that era including appearances on programs as diverse as Sanford and Son, Banacek, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Emergency!, and Happy Days to name but a scant few.
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