Dick Van Patten, 'Eight Is Enough' star, dies at 86

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Actor Dick Van Patten Dies At 86

The soft-spoken actor died Tuesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica due to complications from diabetes.

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.

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Dick Van Patten dies at 86
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Dick Van Patten, 'Eight Is Enough' star, dies at 86
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'And Baby Makes Nine' - Airdate: October 29, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) L-R: BETTY BUCKLEY;DICK VAN PATTEN;LANI O'GRADY
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Official Positions' - Airdate: March 19, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Return of Joe Simons' - Airdate: February 13, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) L-R: LANI O'GRADY;ADAM RICH;DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Return of Joe Simons' - Airdate: February 13, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) L-R: BETTY BUCKLEY;JACK ELAM;ADAM RICH;DICK VAN PATTEN;GRANT GOODEVE;JOAN PRATHER;LANI O'GRADY;CONNIE NEWTON NEEDHAM;LAURIE WALTERS
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 13: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Return of Joe Simons' - Season Four - 2/13/1980, Elizabeth (Connie Needham, left), Tom (Dick Van Patten) and Mary (Lani O'Grady) discuss their house guest, a con man who helped Nicholas when he ran away to San Diego.., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Fathers and Other Strangers' - Airdate: November 7, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) BETTY BUCKLEY;DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Devil and Mr. Bradford' - Airdate: October 24, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Fathers and Other Strangers' - Airdate: November 7, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) BETTY BUCKLEY;DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Night They Raided the Bradfords' - Airdate: October 3, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Devil and Mr. Bradford' - Airdate: October 24, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN;BETTY BUCKLEY
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Fathers and Other Strangers' - Airdate: November 7, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) FRONT ROW: CONNIE NEWTON NEEDHAM;WILLIE AAMES MIDDLE ROW (L-R): DICK VAN PATTEN;BETTY BUCKLEY;ADAM RICH BACK ROW (L-R): DIANNE KAY;LANI O'GRADY;JOAN PRATHER;GRANT GOODEVE;SUSAN RICHARDSON;BRIAN PATRICK CLARKE;LAURIE WALTERS
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 03: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Night They Raided Bradfords' - Season Four - 10/3/79, Merle's sister brought the police to the Bradford home after a misunderstanding. Connie Needham (Elizabeth), Betty Buckley (Abby) and Dick Van Patten star. , (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Ten Ships in the Night' - Airdate: September 26, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) JENNIFER DARLING;DICK VAN PATTEN
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' - Season Four -, 9/19/79, Brides Janet (Joan Prather, left center) and her parents, George and Sylvia McArthur (Robert Rockwell and Emmaline Henry, left), and Susan (Susan Richardson, right center) with her parents, Tom and Abby (Dick Van Patten and Betty Buckley) at their double wedding., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Flunked and Funked' - Airdate: October 18, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'The Flunked and the Funked' - Airdate: October 18, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Nine is Too Much' (a.k.a., 'The Bad News Bradfords') - Airdate: September 13, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) L-R: DICK VAN PATTEN;ADAM RICH
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 13: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Who's Crazy Here?' - Season Three -, 9/13/78, Tom's (Dick Van Patten) insomnia caused concern for Mary (Lani O'Grady, left) and Abby (Betty Buckley)., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Who's Crazy Here?' - Airdate: September 6, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) FRONT ROW (L-R): ADAM RICH;BETTY BUCKLEY;WILLIE AAMES;CONNIE NEWTON NEEDHAM BACK ROW (L-R): LAURIE WALTERS;LANI O'GRADY;DIANNE KAY;DICK VAN PATTEN;SUSAN RICHARDSON;GRANT GOODEVE
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 13: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Nine is Too Much' - Season Three - 9/13/78, After he resigns as Little League coach because of pushy parents, Tom (Dick Van Patten) becomes one himself when Abby (Betty Buckley) replaces him., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - Gallery - Shoot Date: September 1, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN;BETTY BUCKLEY
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Nine is Too Much' - Season Three - 9/6/78, Tom (Dick Van Patten) coaches his son Nicholas' (Adam Rich) Little League Baseball team until pushy parents force him to resign, (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - Gallery - Shoot Date: April 18, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - Gallery - Shoot Date: September 1, 1978. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) CLOCKWISE (FROM BOTTOM L): WILLIE AAMES;LAURIE WALTERS;SUSAN RICHARDSON;GRANT GOODEVE;DIANNE KAY;CONNIE NEWTON NEEDHAM;LANI O'GRADY;ADAM RICH;DICK VAN PATTEN;BETTY BUCKLEY
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: EIGHT IS ENOUGH - Cast - Season Three - 9/1/78, The Bradford family, pictured, back row, left: Susan Richardson (Susan), Connie Needham (Elizabeth), Grant Goodeve (David), Willie Aames (Tommy), Lani O'Grady (Mary); Bottom row: Laurie Walters (Joannie), Dick Van Patten (Tom), Adam Rich (Nicholas), Betty Buckley (Abby), Dianne Kay (Nancy), (Photo by Jim Britt/ABC via Getty Images)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH - 'Children of the Groom' - Airdate: November 9, 1977. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) DICK VAN PATTEN;BETTY BUCKLEY
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"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.

Twitter reacts to the sad news:

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Twitter reacts to death of Dick Van Patten
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Dick Van Patten, 'Eight Is Enough' star, dies at 86
So sad to hear of my "TV Father" Dick Van Patten Passing... He was one of a Kind.. the most generous and kind man.
Dick Van Patten Is Dead at 86 http://t.co/6Ij44jnwcf liveleakfun → http://t.co/IONWArVRFy
Hollywood legend #DickVanPatten dies at 86. http://t.co/41Ch2GsMFy http://t.co/l4DTEI8LjQ
So long, Dick Van Patten, patriarch of the greatest Hollywood family. The Van Patten Project - MST3K: Master Ninja https://t.co/q3oTpmxRF2
Beloved TV dad Dick Van Patten dies at age 86: Dick Van Patten, the beloved fatherly figure of so many shows a... http://t.co/DXIfthdfmB
'Eight is Enough' star Dick Van Patten dies at 86: http://t.co/Vv2eafcQmg
Dick Van Patten has sadly passed away http://t.co/PJmurdaEPq http://t.co/HZAuuzPXlo
RIP Dick Van Patten. He’ll be missed dearly by his horse racing family. http://t.co/YHYe4jCfG4
RIP Dick Van Patten. Here's a cause that was close to his heart: http://t.co/9CYKDYufE9 http://t.co/i2YJP1wFLK
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Van Patten was born Dec. 9 1928, in New York City. He attended the Professional Children's school and began his show business career as "Dickie Van Patten," child actor. He made his Broadway debut at age 7, playing the son of Melvyn Douglas in Tapestry in Gray.

He followed that up with The Eternal Road at the Manhattan Opera House in 1937, then was cast in George S. Kaufman's The American Way, which ran for two years and starred Fredric March. He was cast in another Kaufman comedy, The Land Is Bright.

In 1946, after winning a competition with more than 1,000 other young actors, Van Patten garnered a coveted role in 1946's O Mistress Mine, which starred Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.

While in New York, he also worked in soaps such as Young Doctor Malone and The Nurses. His first major TV role was that of the son Nels in the CBS series Mama, which starred Peggy Wood.

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