The name might not be as recognizable to some as it once was but Dick Van Patten has been a prominent name on both the small and silver screens for almost a century. DVP (if he were a wrestler, I’m sure he’d wear this moniker) died just recently. He was 86 when he finally kicked the proverbial bucket and in Hollywood years, that probably converts to well over two-hundred. I was charged with writing up a YWB eulogy of sorts for him and in an attempt to veer away from the marathon viewing that Patrick has pulled together with both Christopher Lee and Mary Ellen Trainer, I’ll thought it best to avoid watching movies to excess that had Patten was associated with in some capacity. At the start of this, I only really knew of Spaceballs. Patrick suggested a few and armed with my trusty IMDb as an aide tool to help me through, I figured I could make this work.
I didn’t want this to fall into cliché so I’ll avoid any unnecessary pleasantries and simply write my impression of him. From Spaceballs, I knew DVP to have great comedic timing. His character, King Roland, was daft to say the least. It was a great role if memory serves correctly. In all fairness, I did try to watch Spaceballs recently and it was too much for me. The comedy was too excessive and I couldn’t stomach it. As a child coming up though, it was rife with silliness and fun gags. Raspberry jam anyone?
I felt I would be doing a disservice to the site and to DVP if I pretended I knew more than I do about his career. I do pride myself on my useless film knowledge, but also pride myself on not overstepping if I don’t have to. In closing, Dick Van Patten was old and died, obviously. He was in a lot of films, took up a lot of screen time on television, and for all intents and purposes lived a full live while having a successful career. Maybe one day I’ll hunker down and watch some of the things he was in but in the mean time, I think it’s safe to say that cinema and the small screen lost a legend.