Most fans remember Dick Van Patten for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on Eight Is Enough. The TV icon led the series for five seasons on ABC from 1977 to 1981. He went on to portray several more popular TV characters before his death ​in 2015. Keep scrolling for more details on what happened to him after his time on the hit series. 

What Happened to Dick Van Patten?

Dick was born Richard Vincent Van Patten in 1928 in New York City. At age 7, he made his Broadway debut in Tapestry in Gray in 1935. His teen years were filled with other stints on Broadway, including performances in The Land Is Bright and The Skin of Our Teeth

In 1949, Dick, the older brother of actress Joyce Van Patten, landed the role of Nels Hansen in the series Mama. After his time on the CBS program, the comedian made appearances in The Partners, The Doris Day Show and Arnie. Joining the cast of Eight Is Enough in 1977 brought on a career resurgence for the longtime actor. He starred alongside Grant Goodeve, Adam Rich, Dianne Kay and more in the family-centered classic. 

Following his success on Eight Is Enough, Dick starred in WIOU from 1990 to 1991. Later on in his career, he appeared in Arrested Development, That ‘70s Show and Opposite Day. His last acting appearance came in a 2011 episode of Hot in Cleveland

Dick died at age 86 on June 23, 2015, due to complications from diabetes. 

“He knew when to laugh, and Dick always had us laughing,” his former costar Willie Aames said in a statement at the time. “He was just a very wonderful, sincere man.”

Dick’s other Eight Is Enough costars shared their condolences and memories with the beloved TV personality. 

“Heartsick to hear #DickVanPatten has passed away,” Betty Buckley tweeted. “Wonderful human being, actor, comedian, Super Dad, beloved friend & role model.”

Was Dick Van Patten Married?

The Baywatch alum walked down the aisle with his wife, actress Patricia Poole, in 1954. The couple were married for nearly 62 years before his death in 2015.

What Happened to Eight Is Enough's Dick Van Patten?
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

How Many Children Did Dick Van Patten Have?

Dick and Patricia welcomed three sons together: Vincent, Nels and Jimmy Van Patten. Both Vincent and Nels became actors like their parents.


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