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vanpattenActor Dick Van Patten, best known for his role as the patriarch on the long running television series Eight is Enough, has died.

While most of his acting career was taken up with mainstream roles, he also had many parts in science fiction and fantasy movies. He was in Beware! The Blob (1972), Westworld and Soylent Green(1973), The Strongest Man in the World (1975), Mel Brooks films such as Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993). He also played smaller roles in television, in everything from I Dream of Jeannie and Kolchak: The Night Stalker to The Six Million Dollar Man and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. 

Van Patten was also a staunch advocate for animal rights. He was the founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods.  He founded National Guide Dog Month which began in 2008 to raise awareness and money for non-profit guide dog schools in the United States accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.

Van Patten died at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California due to complications from diabetes. He was 86.

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