Dick Van Patten Dead: Love Boat, Eight Is Enough Star Dies at 86

Dick Van Patten
Dick Van Patten has died at the age of 86. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Storied actor Dick Van Patten passed away at the age of 86 on Tuesday, June 23. A rep for the beloved star confirmed to Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday that Van Patten died at Santa Monica, Calif.'s Saint John’s Hospital.

The New York native began his acting career when he was just a child, making his Broadway debut in the 1935 production of Tapestry In Gray at age 7. Van Patten went on to nab coveted television and film roles and acted well into his eighties.

The celebrated thespian is perhaps best known for his turns as Tom Bradford in the 1970s series Eight Is Enough, and the multiple roles he held on The Love Boat. Van Patten charmed on ABC's Eight Is Enough for the series' five-season run, playing the lovable father to eight children who paid the expansive family's bills with his newspaper job. On The Love Boat, he played a variety of roles including salesman George Hayes and magician The Great Stellini.

The animal rights enthusiast, who also appeared in Mel Brooks' big-screen comedies Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, picked up work in recent years with a 2011 cameo on Hot in Cleveland and a part in the 2009 movie Opposite Day. In 2009, Van Patten also reflected on his life and career with the publication of his memoir, Eighty Is Not Enough.

dick van patten on eight is enough
Dick Van Patten with the cast of Eight Is Enough in 1978 Jim Britt/ABC via Getty Images

Van Patten struggled with his health as he aged, facing issues related to his type 2 diabetes. The late star's rep confirmed to EW that his death was caused by said issues. 

The Happy Days alum is survived by Pat Van Patten, his wife of more than 60 years, and his sons Jimmy, Nels, and Vincent.  

UPDATE: Van Patten was remembered by his friends and costars, including his on-screen Eight Is Enough son Willie Aames, after news of his death broke on Tuesday. Check out tweets below. 

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