Richard Vincent Van Patten (December 9, 1928 – June 23, 2015) was an American actor, comedian, businessman, and animal welfare advocate, whose career spanned seven decades of television. He was best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on the ABC television comedy-drama Eight Is Enough. Van Patten began work as a child actor and was successful on the New York stage, appearing in more than a dozen plays as a teenager. He worked in radio, on Duffy's Tavern. He later starred in numerous television roles including the long-running CBS television series, "Mama" and Young Doctor Malone. Later, he would star or co-star in many feature films, including Charly, Mel Brooks's Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Spaceballs, and Charlton Heston's Soylent Green. Van Patten was the founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods and National Guide Dog Month.