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'Eight Is Enough', 'Love Boat' Star Dick Van Patten Dead At 86

LOS ANGELES ( — Actor Dick Van Patten, best known for his role on TV's "Eight Is Enough", has died, according to reports. He was 86.

A rep for Van Patten released the following statement to Entertainment Weekly: "I am sorry to report this sad news. His family will not be doing any press at this time."

Van Patten reportedly died Tuesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica, according to People Magazine.

The cause of death was not immediately available.

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With regular appearances on "The Love Boat" and numerous other TV shows, it was Van Patten's role as patriarch Tom Bradford on "Eight Is Enough" that cemented the actor's legacy in pop culture.

Matt Belloni from The Hollywood Reporter told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO Van Patten's work went towards making the Bradford family a sort of template for much of today's TV families.

"Growing up in that period, I remember that as being sort of the quintessential family sitcom that you see as a progenitor for a lot of these family sitcoms that are on today," said Belloni.

Born in Kew Gardens, Queens in 1928, Van Patten made his Broadway debut at 7 years old in 1935's "Tapestry In Gray." He went on to appear in 27 other Broadway shows.

Van Patten had a lengthy career in television, appearing first in the 1949-1957 series "I Remember Mama" and later starring on "The New Dick Van Dyke Show," "When Things Were Rotten" and "WIOU."

He also made numerous appearances as a guest star on various shows, including "Sanford and Son," Adam 12," "Emergency!," "The Love Boat," "Happy Days," "Family Guy," "That 70s Show," "Hot In Cleveland," along with many others.

In addition to his television roles, Van Patten also appeared in Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety," "Spaceballs," and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights."

He is survived by his wife of 62 years Patricia Van Patten and sons Nels, Jimmy and Vincent.


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