I often used to see Dick Van Patten, the star of the old TV show Eight Is Enough, at a Starbucks on Ventura and Allot Blvd., usually wearing a jaunty cap. So, with his passing, it seems like the time to tell one story about him:
A friend of mine was sitting in a corner table, muttering to himself. He was high strung in the best of times; at the moment he seemed to be courting a stroke. I asked what had happened.
“God damn fucking bastard Evans,” he replied. “The bastard is lying to me.”
It took a few moments to unravel the story. My friend, a freelance writer, had been assigned by the New York Time to write a story about legendary film producer Robert Evans. My friend had just been at Evan’s Hollywood Hills home. Evans had spun some tale tells my friend couldn’t believe. He knew the Times wanted the interview, but my friend didn’t know how he could put together a story of such patent fabrications without looking like a fool.
“That’s it,” he said. “I’m getting out of this business. I can’t deal with the bullshit anymore.”
[pullquote]”I’m getting out of this business. I can’t deal with the bullshit anymore.”[/pullquote]
At that moment, Van Patton walked through the door. My friend said, “I’m going to ask Patton about Evan’s story.” I said, “Would he know?” My friend nodded. “He’ll know. He’s been around forever.”
My friend sat down with Patton and they talked for five minutes. My friend pushed himself away from the table. When he returned to me, his face was red with rage, and the vein in his neck pulsed.
“God damn fucking bastard Evans,” he said. “The bastard was telling me the truth!”
RIP, Mr. Van Patten.