Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Eighty is Not Enough", A New Book by Dick Van Patten

Regular readers of this blog know that I have written about actor Dick Van Patten on numerous occasions. I first met Dick through my job, as he is a co-founder and part owner of Natural Balance Pet Foods. But over the years I've come to know the Van Patten family and today consider it an honor to call them friends. Those who know Dickie know that he is a great story-teller, and loves to make people happy. When he first told me he was writing a book, I knew it would be an interesting read because I've heard so many great stories of his life directly from he and his family as well. That's why I can recommend Dick's new book Eighty is Not Enough so highly. As you read through each chapter you will come to know Dick as if he were a next door neighbor you've known for years. Indeed, Mr Van Patten is an endearing person whose words enhance his already squeaky-clean family guy image. Most Americans know Dick Van Patten for his role as Tom Bradford in the top rated US television program "Eight is Enough". Dick became known as America's favorite dad, a regular, down-to-Earth kind of guy. And that is exactly true. But there is much more to Dick Van Patten than Eight is Enough, and this book is filled with the author's anecdotes and recollections of a long career that started as a child actor in New York.

In addition to his star on the Hollywood Walk of Stars, Dick Van Patten was also honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. He is a favorite and familiar face to many here in Palm Springs and supports and attends charitable functions in the valley.

Thankfully, what you won't find in this book is any salacious or juicy Hollywood gossip. There are plenty of great stories about his famous Broadway and Hollywood friends, and much to hold your attention and interest. Dick takes the high road and describes his close family relationship and long-standing social friendships. He skillfully shares life-lessons learned in a manner that enables you to think about your own life.

Woven artfully throughout these memoirs are wonderfully detailed accounts of numerous roles Dick played where he worked with some of the biggest names in Broadway and Hollywood history. In particular if you are a fan of Broadway and early television years, many chapters are like wonderful vignettes. Without question, Dick Van Patten is a man who has enjoyed a long acting career, yet he managed to avoid the usual foils of Hollywood actors. His love for his wife Pat and family is clearly evident through this book. His sense of strong ethics and loyalty have been a hallmark throughout his life; and despite a long successful career he remains a man with no ego. This book is surprisingly refreshing and entertaining. It's an easy read with lots of short chapters that make it a perfect book to pick up and put down for bedtime reading. Perhaps what I liked most about Eighty is Not Enough is that in addition to being an enjoyable read, it reinforces that life is about choices; it is possible to make the most of life, savor every day and have fun along the way.
-Rick Rockhill


kenju said...

I have always liked him as an actor and on talk shows. I would like to read that book; it seems he is wise as well as nice.

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful tribute to a great friend. Well done Rick!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm in the middle of the book right now...I particularly find the early years so very interesting because of all the work he did on Broadway, PLUS, I love all the interesting things about his dear sister Joyce, who is my very dear and good friend....I actually knew his Mom and his Dad! And Casey, Joyce's son. I'be known since he was a little boy. And of course, Pat and Dickie, too....!
It is a very GOOD Read!
His years on Broadway, working with some of the most incredible Actors ever, is a true treasure of rememberences!

KathyA said...

It's nice to know that people with souls and ethics still exist in Hollywood. We don't often hear of these fine people; people with depth. I'll look into his book!

Palm Springs Savant said...

OldLadyoftheHills- Oh I just knew you'd have it already! It is a wonderful read, isn't it? I tore through it this weekend!

Kanani said...

What a nice post. I've always thought he had a great life --those kids of his have turned out well.

Kanani said...

What a nice post. I've always thought he had a great life --those kids of his have turned out well.

Kanani said...

What a nice post. I've always thought he had a great life --those kids of his have turned out well.

Biddie said...

Dick Van Patten has always seemed like a sweet guy, someone that you could have a cup of coffee with.
I will put his book on my must read list - I have loved him since I was a kid :)

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I remember him appearing on the Mike Douglas Showin the '70's or '80's. What a class act!

I'll have to buy this and read it.

Since e-meeting you, I have taken a second look at the people in Hollywood-- some of them are "real". I love that you know people like Barry Manilow and Paula Abdul; it makes listening to their music (or seeing shows with others) more of a friendship thing. It flits in my mind, "Rick knows this person" and I think of the nice thinsg you say about them even if only for a second. I get more from the music or show when I think of these things. I am a Luddite when it comes to music and movies and now I am less so with some connection like I feel like I have with you, even though it is only on the internet.

Diane J Standiford said...

I've always enjoyed his work, nice to know he is a good guy and can write without being a gossiper.


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