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'Eight is enough' actor Dick Van Patten dies at 86

Diabetes complications claim life of man whose other main claim to fame was presence in Mel Brooks comedies

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(Above) Van Patten at Hollywood Park in 1970, a profile in People magazine said that his only vices were twice-weekly poker games and regular visits to the racetrack.
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Van Patten (above) arriving for the American Film Institute's 41st Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood
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Television became his focus once Van Patten landed a role on one of the first family drama series, Mama, where he portrayed the role of Nels (on the phone). He was rarely absent from the small screen from then on.

New York

DICK Van Patten, the cheerful, round-faced actor best known for his role as the firm if harried suburban father at the centre of the hit television series Eight Is Enough, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California. He was 86.

The cause was complications of diabetes, said