Dick Van Patten, Goofy Father From “Enough Is Enough,” Dies At 86

Dick Van Patten, Goofy Father From “Enough Is Enough,” Dies At 86
Spaceballs (1987) Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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Actor Dick Van Patten, best-known for playing the role of a father in the 1970s series “Enough is Enough,” died on Tuesday from complications from diabetes. He was 86.


Van Patten’s agent Budd Burton Moss confirmed his death. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Van Patten passed away at a Santa Monica, California, hospital.

Moss said, “He had been ill for a long time.”

Van Patten was best known for his role as the goofy father Tom Bradford on the sitcom “Enough is Enough.” The show, which ran for four seasons from 1977 until 1981, was about a real-life journalist and father of eight children, Tom Braden, who also appeared as one of the commentators on CNN’s “Crossfire.”

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Although the show did not retain much of Braden’s life, there were quite a few similarities between him and Van Patten – especially the love for their kids.

Van Patten had told the Academy of American Television, “Tom Bradford was very much like me. His family came first. His career was second. It was the same with me.”

The actor reprised the role of Braden in the TV movie “Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion” (1987) and “An Eight Is Enough Wedding” (1989).

According to USA Today, Van Patten’s autobiography was titled “Eighty is Not Enough.”

During “Enough is Enough,” Van Patten also made guest appearances on “The Love Boat.” Van Patten’s film career included starring in “Charly” (1968) and “Westworld” (1973); and three of Mel Brooks’ movies: “High Anxiety” (1979), “Spaceballs” (1987) and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993).

He made regular and guest appearances on several shows, including “Naked City,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” and “Love, American Style,” and also acted in Broadway plays.

In 2006, he told The Pet Press, “I’ve probably had more jobs than any other actor living.

Van Patten was the cofounder of Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods, established in 1989. He also initiated the National Guide Dog Month in 2008 to spread awareness and raise money for nonprofit guide schools in the U.S.

Van Patten is survived by his wife, Patricia Van Patten, and sons, Nels, Jimmy and Vincent.

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