Dick Van Patten, famously known as the TV dad on Eight is Enough in the late 1970s, died on Tuesday. Van Patten was 86.
Van Patten started as a child actor on stage productions in his native New York City
He really began to show off his comedic touch, though, in the 1970s, thanks to Carl Reiner, who cast him in The New Dick Van Dyke Show. That, in turn, led to meeting Reiner’s longtime best friend, Mel Brooks — as Van Patten explained in this 2012 interview for a PBS documentary special on Brooks.
That When Things Go Rotten failed as a TV series in 1975, however, freed up Van Patten for the gig on Eight is Enough barely a year later. He’d also appear multiple times on The Love Boat. On the big screen, his credits included Freaky Friday, The Shaggy D.A., and with Brooks, High Anxiety, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.