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Joyce Van Patten

Joyce Van Patten

Mar. 9th, 1934
Born in
New York City, New York, USA

Joyce Van Patten's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Unhappily Ever After TV Show
Unhappily Ever After
The Mary Tyler Moore Hour TV Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Hour
The Loner TV Show
The Loner
The Don Rickles Show TV Show
The Don Rickles Show
CBS Summer Playhouse TV Show
CBS Summer Playhouse
The Good Guys (1968) TV Show
The Good Guys (1968)
Young Dr. Kildare TV Show
Young Dr. Kildare

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Before reaching a year old, New York-born actress Joyce Van Patten was already auditioning for modeling roles along with older brother Dick Van Patten, prodded by a typically assertive stage mother. The Van Patten siblings displayed natural talent and did quite well for themselves at such an early age. By age 8, Joyce was appearing on radio and on Broadway in the William Saroyan play "Love's Old Sweet Song." A year later she and Dick had bit roles in the film Reg'lar Fellers (1941) and appeared together in the play "The Wind Is Ninety" (1945). Following a brief marriage at the age of 16, Joyce grew into vivid young adult roles and found ripe parts in a number of popular plays including "The Desk Set" (1955) and "A Hole in the Head" (1957). She and Dick appeared together in New York with "The Male Animal" (1953), "The Tender Trap" (1955) and "Oh Men! Oh Women! (1955). Joyce tended to downplay her beauty for smart, cynical, earthier characters and specialized in wry, neurotic comedy. Her film career proved uneventful, however, with a non-speaking part in Fourteen Hours (1951) and a featured bit in The Goddess (1958) starring Kim Stanley (I).

TV roles started coming her way in the late 1950s with one-season parts on the soap dramas "As the World Turns" (1956) and "Young Dr. Malone" (1958). Since then Joyce has divided her time between the stage and TV with intermittent film assignments coming along once in awhile, including such offbeat fare as I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968) and Making It (1971), the latter also featuring brother Dick. A regular on "The Danny Kaye Show" (1963) for four seasons, she was Herb Edelman's take-it-on-the chin wife in "The Good Guys" (1968), her best chance for series comedy stardom. She faltered with regular roles in ill-fated TV vehicles designed for Don Rickles and Mary Tyler Moore. Over the years, Joyce's most prolific work has come from the Broadway stage. She shone in a number of popular shows such as "Spoon River Anthology," "Same Time, Next Year," "I Oughta Be in Pictures," "The Supporting Cast," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Rumors," "Jake's Women," and, more recently, "Ring Round the Moon" (1999) and "Taller Than a Dwarf" (2000). A delight whether playing drab, shrill wives or nagging, nervous relatives, she appeared in a sparkling production of "Harvey" in 2003, and continues to make guest appearances on such popular TV shows as "Judging Amy" (1999) and "Desperate Housewives" (2004).

  • Half sister of 'Timothy Van Patten' (qv).
  • Mother of actress 'Talia Balsam' (qv)
  • Daughter of Richard Byron Van Patten and wife Josephine Rose Acerno.
  • Mother-in-law of actor John Slattery.
  • Sister of actor 'Dick Van Patten' (qv). They appeared together as children in _Reg'lar Fellers (1941)_ (qv), and, decades later, in _Making It (1971)_ (qv).
  • Ironically played ex-husband Martin Balsam's wife in 80s film St. Elmos Fire.
  • Made her debut at five months old modeling a baby blanket in a Sears catalog.
  • Aunt of 'Vincent Van Patten' (qv), 'Nels Van Patten' (qv) and 'James Van Patten (I)' (qv).

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