Vincent Van Patten (Actor)
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Updated: 4/1/2007

Name: Vincent Van Patten

Born: October 17, 1957 in Bellrose, New York

Claim To Fame: This one is hard to pinpoint. I asked about 10 different people and the responses were varied. Probably the most common response was... who's he? So I decided to go with The Bionic Boy. A close second is professional Tennis player.

Family Life: Eileen Davidson (April 2003 - present) 1 child
Betsy Russell (1989 - ?) (divorced) 2 children

Son of actor Dick Van Patten and Pat Van Patten.
Brother of James Van Patten and Nels Van Patten.
Nephew of Joyce Van Patten and Timothy Van Patten.
Cousin of Talia Balsam.

Info: Vince first got into show business at age nine with a commercial for Colgate toothpaste was followed by more than thirty other commercials. Through the 1970s, the child actor Van Patten guest-starred in over three dozen television series including Bonanza, The High Chaparral, Medical Center, Adam 12, The Courtship of Eddie's Father and a variety of television movies. At age 16 he was cast in Apple's Way, a CBS series in which he played the son of an architect who leaves the big city to raise his family in small-town Appleton, Iowa.

Trivia: Was rumored in tabloids to be romantically linked to Farrah Fawcett in the late '70s. The rumor started because they spent a great deal of time together as they shared a love for playing tennis.

In 1978 he appeared in the cult classic, 'Rock 'n' Roll High School.'

Vince was also a professional tennis player who in 1979 was awarded the ATP Rookie of the Year award. The highlight of his career came in 1981 when he defeated John McEnroe and two other top seeded pros to win the Seiko World Super Tennis tournament in Tokyo, Japan.

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Where Are They Now: He recently released a book, "The Picasso Flop", a poker murder mystery and is working on a second one.

And if you are into poker you probably are aware of his gig as co-host and commentator for the weekly World Poker Tour television program. Also in the poker world, he has endorsed the online poker Website Hollywood Poker with actor James Woods.

He also appears in commercials for Milwaukee's Potawatomi Casino.

He continues to play in many of the major poker tournament events.

When asked how he got into poker, his response was, "Well, I was taught how to play poker from my father, actor Dick Van Patten, at age 9. He played great poker and used to have games in our house, in the kitchen, four nights a week with celebrity friends like Walter Matthau, Gabe Kaplan and Get Smart’s Don Adams. So he figured, 'Well, the kid better learn how to play,' so I learned to play and learned how to read the Racing Form. I used to watch them play and, by age 14, I was good enough. I just loved the game of poker. Eventually I was good enough to get in that game. And as a 14 year old I was playing against these adults who were throwing pizza at each other. It was a pretty serious game, but there was laughter and insults. It was crazy.

From there my game really evolved. I was such a lover of the game. I even had a fake mustache and beard made up from a guy named Ziggy in the San Fernando Valley. I put ‘em on when I
was 16 years old and drive to Gardena, California where gambling was legal if you were over 21. I’d be playing, but I was only 5 feet tall, and had this fake beard on and moustache. I looked like a freak. Sometimes security guards would say, 'How old are you?' I figured out that if you said, '21,' it looked ridiculous, so I’d say, '38.' For some reason, they would just look at me and walk away. I got away with it.

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Write To Vincent Van Patten:
Vincent Van Patten
13926 Magnolia Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423-1230


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