Richard Vincent "Dick" Van Patten (born December 9, 1928) is an American actor, businessman, and animal welfare advocate, best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on the television sitcom Eight is Enough. He 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 later starred in numerous television roles including the long running CBS television series, Mama and Young Dr. Malone. Later, he would star or co-star in many feature films including Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Charlton Heston's Soylent Green and the Academy Award-winning Charly. Van Patten is the founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods and National Guide Dog Month.