- Made his first of 27 Broadway appearances at the age of 7 in Tapestry in Gray.
- Named his second child Nels after his role in the CBS sitcom Mama, which ran from 1949 to '57, and told the story of a Norwegian family living in San Francisco in the 1910s.
- Developed a friendship with Mel Brooks after meeting on the tennis courts, and went on to act in three of the director's films.
- Played the ship's doctor in the original 1976 two-hour pilot for The Love Boat, and was later a frequent guest star on the show.
- A love of animals led to his founding Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989.
- Had cameos in the "Weird Al" Yankovic videos "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Bedrock Anthem."
- Started National Guide Dog Month in 2008 to raise awareness and money for nonprofit guide dog schools in the U.S.
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009.
- Published a memoir titled Eighty Is Not Enough.
- Nels Van Patten — Son
- Joyce Van Patten — Sister
- Pat Van Patten — Wife
- Richard Van Patten — Father
- Tim Van Patten — Half Brother
- Vincent Van Patten — Son
- Talia Balsam — Niece
- Jimmy Van Patten — Son
- Josephine Van Patten — Mother
- Birth Name: Richard Vincent Van Patten
- Birth Place: Kew Gardens, New York, United States
- Died: June 23, 2015
- Profession: Actor
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