Everyone has a favorite television dad. Dick Van Patten was mine even though I hadn’t seen his work on Eight Is Enough until many years after it first aired. You see during a really rough patch in my life I met Dick and he helped me feel human again. He would call and check on me, send little college survival kits and even stop by from time to time.
Sadly, Dick Van Patten, best known by most people for playing the dad on the classic TV show “Eight Is Enough,” died today in Santa Monica from complications from diabetes and I feel like my real father has passed away.
Van Patten started acting the way back when he was just 7 years old — often appearing on Broadway. Besides his huge TV role … Dick also had memorable roles in the Mel Brooks movies “Spaceballs” and “Robin Hood Men in Tights.” He was 86 years old.
There will be no public funeral and the family will not be putting out any public statements. We will respect their privacy but silently mourn the passing of a wonderful man.
RIP Dick, you were a God among men and stolen from us way too early.