“I am sorry to report this sad news,” Dick’s publicist said in a statement. “He was the kindest man you could ever meet in life. A loving family man. They don’t make them like him anymore. His family will not be doing any press at this time.”
Dick is best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on the sitcom Eight Is Enough, which aired from 1977-1981, but he really began acting long before that. In fact, he began as a child actor on Broadway, and appeared on more than a dozen shows when he was a teenager.
The late actor also starred on Mama from 1949-1957, and made appearances on several other television shows throughout his career, which more recently included Arrested Development and Hot In Cleveland. He starred in notable films, as well, including Space Balls, Robin Hood:Men In Tights, and High Anxiety.
Sadly, Dick has suffered from Type 2 diabetes for years. In 2006, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a diabetic stroke, but luckily, made a full recovery that time around. He survives his wife, Patricia Van Patten, who he married in 1954, and their three sons, Vincent, Nels and Jimmy.
Our thoughts are with Dick Van Patten’s family during this sad and difficult time.