Dick Van Patten

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Dick Van Patten (1928-2015) discusses the beginning of his acting career, performing in twenty-seven Broadway shows from the time he was just seven years old. He details what it was like working as a child actor on his first TV show, Mama , and how this prepared him for the leading role he would later have on the hit family show, Eight Is Enough. He details his time working on Eight Is Enough and shares fond memories of the cast and crew. He also outlines shows on which he appeared throughout his long career, including The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Arrested Development and Hot in Cleveland. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on May 11, 2011 in North Hollywood, CA.

"I like to do TV series. I think they're so comfortable. You're doing the same part every week. You're working with the same people and there's a lot of recognition. I like to do series best. I really do."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Dick Van Patten on the camaraderie between the cast members and advice he gave to the younger members of the cast of Eight Is Enough
Dick Van Patten on issues Eight is Enough dealt with throughout the series
Dick Van Patten on the legacy of Eight Is Enough
Dick Van Patten on working with Paul Newman, Jack Lemon and James Dean on the show Mama
Dick Van Patten on his guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland with Carl Reiner and Don Rickles
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences: being a child model and performing in 27 Broadway shows from the time he was 7 years old; on working in radio at age 11
On appearing on the TV show Mama a.k.a. I Remember Mama; on a typical work week on the show and what it was like working with the cast and crew
On doing commercials for the sponsors of the show Mama; on the 1950 Christmas episode of the show; on appearing on Broadway and the show Mama, concurrently
On his memories of the Hollywood Blacklist; on playing a villain on Young Dr. Malone; on working on The Love Boat; on appearing in the special Men in White; on working on A Memory of Two Mondays

Chapter 2

On working on the special Men in White; on working on The Dick Van Dyke Show; on guest roles he had on several shows; on his work on several Mel Brooks projects
On how he got involved with the TV show Eight is Enough; on the premise of the show; on the characters and family dynamic within the show; on issues dealt with during the series' run; on the cast of Eight Is Enough
On episodes and the reunion movies for Eight Is Enough; on the Eight Is Enough Wedding
On the legacy of Eight is Enough; on his other TV appearances; on his approach to acting; on advice to aspiring actors; on his proudest career achievement; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Arnie

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Dick Van Patten on working on the show Arnie

Arrested Development

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Dick Van Patten on his guest appearance on Arrested Development

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Dick Van Patten on working on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Don Rickles Show, The

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on The Don Rickles Show

Eight Is Enough

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Dick Van Patten on how appearing on Mama prepared him for his role on Eight is Enough
Dick Van Patten on how he got involved with the TV show Eight is Enough and working on the show with the cast and crew

Goldbergs, The

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Dick Van Patten on the differences between the shows The Goldbergs and Mama

Happy Days

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on Happy Days

Hot in Cleveland

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Dick Van Patten on his guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland

I Dream of Jeannie

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on I Dream of Jeannie with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Kolchak: The Night Stalker

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Love Boat, The

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Dick Van Patten on appearing as a villain on The Love Boat
Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on The Love Boat

Mama

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Dick Van Patten on appearing on the show Mama
Dick Van Patten on the premise of the TV show Mama; his character "Nels" and what it was like working on the show with the cast and crew

Maude

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on Maude

Medical Center

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on Medical Center

Six Million Dollar Man, The

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on The Six Million Dollar Man

That Girl

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on That Girl with Marlo Thomas

Wonder Woman

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on Wonder Woman
Topics

Diversity in Television

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Dick Van Patten on issues Eight is Enough dealt with throughout the series

Hollywood Blacklist

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Dick Van Patten on his memories of the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Dick Van Patten on his memories of the Hollywood Blacklist

Minorities

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Dick Van Patten on issues Eight is Enough dealt with throughout the series

Sports

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Dick Van Patten on the Eight Is Enough reunion movies beating the World Series in TV ratings

Technological Innovation

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Dick Van Patten on seeing a prototype of TV at the World's Fair for the first time

Television Industry

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Dick Van Patten on his memories of the Hollywood Blacklist

World Series

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Dick Van Patten on the Eight Is Enough reunion movies beating the World Series in TV ratings
Professions

Actor

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Dick Van Patten on how appearing on Mama prepared him for his role on Eight is Enough
Genres

Comedy Series

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Dick Van Patten on how appearing on Mama prepared him for his role on Eight is Enough
Dick Van Patten on the differences between the shows The Goldbergs and Mama
Dick Van Patten on appearing as a villain on The Love Boat
Dick Van Patten on working on The Dick Van Dyke Show
Dick Van Patten on working on the show Arnie

Drama Series

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Dick Van Patten on the premise of the TV show Mama; his character "Nels" and what it was like working on the show with the cast and crew
Dick Van Patten on how he got involved with the TV show Eight is Enough and working on the show with the cast and crew
People

Willie Aames

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Dick Van Patten on working with Willie Aames on Eight is Enough

Tallulah Bankhead

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Dick Van Patten on acting in a play with Tallulah Bankhead and Fredrick March

Gertrude Berg

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Dick Van Patten on the differences between the show The Goldbergs and Mama

William Blinn

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Dick Van Patten on producer, William Blinn's involvement with the show Eight is Enough

Mel Brooks

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Dick Van Patten on his work on several Mel Brooks projects

Betty Buckley

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Dick Van Patten on Betty Buckley's character on Eight Is Enough

Johnny Carson

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Dick Van Patten on appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Lee J. Cobb

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Dick Van Patten on a bet he made with Lee J. Cobb while working on Men in White

James Dean

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Dick Van Patten on James Dean being hired as his replacement to work on the show Mama
Dick Van Patten on working with Paul Newman, Jack Lemon and James Dean on the show Mama

Dick Van Dyke

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Dick Van Patten on working on The Dick Van Dyke Show with Dick Van Dyke

Barbara Eden

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on I Dream of Jeannie with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Lynn Fontanne

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Dick Van Patten on working with Lynn Fontanne and Sylvia Sidney and mishaps while working in live TV

Mary Frann

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Dick Van Patten on having Mary Frann play his wife on Eight Is Enough - the second reunion movie

Larry Hagman

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on I Dream of Jeannie with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman

Mark Hamill

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Dick Van Patten on Mark Hamill's involvement with the pilot for Eight is Enough

Charlton Heston

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Dick Van Patten on his role in the film Soylent Green and working with Edward G. Robinson and Charlton Heston

Ron Howard

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Dick Van Patten on working with Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on Happy Days

Diana Hyland

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Dick Van Patten on working on the soap opera Young Dr. Malone with Diana Hyland
Dick Van Patten on Diana Hyland's involvement with Eight Is Enough and how her death was handled on the show

Dianne Kay

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Dick Van Patten on working with Dianne Kay on Eight is Enough

Elia Kazan

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Dick Van Patten on acting in a play directed by Elia Kazan

Jack Lemmon

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Dick Van Patten on working with Paul Newman, Jack Lemon and James Dean on the show Mama

Rue McClanahan

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Dick Van Patten on appearing as a villain on The Love Boat with Rue McClanahan

Arthur Miller

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Dick Van Patten on working on A Memory of Two Mondays

Worthington Miner

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Dick Van Patten on working with Worthington "Tony" Miner

Ralph Nelson

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Dick Van Patten on working with the director, Ralph Nelson and handling challenges of live TV on the show Mama

Paul Newman

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Dick Van Patten on working with Paul Newman, Jack Lemon and James Dean on the show Mama

Lani O'Grady

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Dick Van Patten on working with Lani O'Grady on Eight is Enough

Doris Quinlan

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Dick Van Patten on working with Doris Quinlan

Carl Reiner

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Dick Van Patten on his guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland with Carl Reiner and Don Rickles

Adam Rich

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Dick Van Patten on working with Adam Rich on Eight is Enough

Don Rickles

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on The Don Rickles Show with Don Rickles
Dick Van Patten on his guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland with Carl Reiner and Don Rickles

Edward G. Robinson

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Dick Van Patten on his role in the film Soylent Green and working with Edward G. Robinson and Charlton Heston

Sylvia Sidney

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Dick Van Patten on working with Lynn Fontanne and Sylvia Sidney and mishaps while working in live TV

Fred Silverman

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Dick Van Patten on how Fred Silverman chose him for his role on the TV show Eight is Enough

David Susskind

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Dick Van Patten on appearing on the special Men in White produced by David Susskind

Marlo Thomas

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Dick Van Patten on a guest role he had on That Girl with Marlo Thomas

Henry Winkler

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Dick Van Patten on working with Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on Happy Days

Peggy Wood

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Dick Van Patten on the first TV show he worked on as a child: Mama a.k.a. I Remember Mama
Dick Van Patten on working with Peggy Wood, Judson Laire, Robin Morgan, Iris Mann
Dick Van Patten on the differences between the show The Goldbergs and Mama

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