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Dick Van Patten, lovable dad on ‘Eight is Enough’ dies at 86

Actor Dick Van Patten, who portrayed the father of the Bradford family on “Eight is Enough,” has died. He was 86.
Actor Dick Van Patten, who portrayed the father of the Bradford family on “Eight is Enough,” has died. He was 86. Associated Press

Dick Van Patten, who portrayed the patriarch of the Bradford family on TV’s “Eight is Enough,” died on Tuesday. He was 86.

His rep told media outlets that Van Patten died of complications from diabetes at Saint John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif.

“He was the kindest man you could ever meet in life,” his publicist, Jeff Ballard, said in a statement. “A loving family man. They don’t make them like him anymore.

“His family will not be doing any press at this time.”

Born Dec. 9 1928, in New York City, Van Patten started acting as a child, first appearing on Broadway at age 7, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But he became famous for portraying Tom Bradford, the father of eight children on the ABC series “Eight is Enough,” which ran for five seasons from 1977 to 1981.

His character, who was a columnist for a Sacramento newspaper, was named No. 33 on TV Guide’s list of “50 Greatest Dads of All Time.”

As news broke of his death, Twitter paid tribute to the soft-spoken actor.

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