Dick Van Patten (born December 9, 1928 in New York City) is an American actor. He is the older brother of actress Joyce Van Patten and uncle of Talia Balsam. He has been married to the former Patricia Poole since 1954 and is the father of three sons, all actors: Vincent Van Patten, Nels Van Patten and James Van Patten.
Van Patten is best known for his work in both movies and in television. On television, his most famous roles were as Nels Hansen on the early television series Mama, which ran from 1949 to 1957, and as patriarch Tom Bradford on Eight is Enough, which ran from 1977 to 1981.
Van Patten was in the news in early December 2005 for lending his name to Natural Balance, a line of high-end dog food that is intended to be indistinguishable from stews and other dishes (or table scraps) that are normally intended for human consumption. He has demonstrated this by eating, on at least one occasion, his own brand of dog food in tandem with some pet.
In January 2006, the actor was taken to Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a diabetic stroke. Van Patten, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, sustained some speech impairment and paralysis from the stroke.