Dick Van Patten
Stage Manager, Performer
( b. Dec 09, 1928 Kew Gardens, New York, USA - d. Jun 23, 2015 Santa Monica, California, USA ) Male
Patten, who was the always-genial, round-faced actor, who also appeared in Disney films including "Freaky Friday" as well as Mel Brooks comedies "High Anxiety," "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"and "Space Balls."
Though long associated with television and film comedies, the actor spent a great deal of time onstage, making the first of his two dozen or so appearances on Broadway as a child back in 1937, in Kurt Weill's The Eternal Road.
He made his Broadway debut in Kurt Weill's The Eternal Road, a spectacle of Jewish history, in 1937 (in 2000, the centenary of Weill's birth, Van Patten attended a full restaging of the mammoth six-hour work at Brooklyn's BAM). The next year the youngster appeared in Paul Osborn's hit "On Borrowed Time," which was adapted into a film starring Lionel Barrymore and Cedric Hardwicke, and appeared in Run Sheep Run; in 1939 he was part of the George S. Kaufman-Moss Hart spectacle The American Way.
After Mister Roberts," Van Patten was missing from Broadway until a one-night stint in "Have I Got a Girl for You!" in 1963; two years later he was stage manager and understudy on the original Ruth Gordon-Garson Kanin play A Very Rich Woman. He appeared on Broadway for the final time in 1974-75 in Herb Gardner's comedy Thieves.
After 1970 the actor was a steady presence on the smallscreen for the next several decades. During the 1970s he guested on "I Dream of Jeannie," "That Girl," "Sanford and Son," "McMillan and Wife," "Love, American Style," "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," "Phyllis," "Maude," "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "One Day at a Time."
He made his feature debut in the 1963 horror "Violent Midnight" but more significantly played one of the scientists who aid the lead character in 1968's "Charly." More impressive was his supporting role in the Clint Eastwood Western "Joe Kidd" the same year. Van Patten served as a commentator for the World Series of Poker from 1993-95.
His memoir "Eighty Is Not Enough," co-authored with Robert Baer, was published in 2009.