Joyce Van Patten

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Joyce Van Patten
Joyce Van Patten (1969).JPG
Joyce Van Patten in 1969
Born Joyce Benignia Van Patten
(1934-03-09) March 9, 1934 (age 83)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1948–present
Spouse(s) Thomas King (1950-1953; divorced; 1 child)
Martin Balsam (1957-1962; divorced; 1 child)
Hal Lynch (1968-1970; divorced)
Dennis Dugan (1973-1987; divorced)
Children Thomas Casey King (1951-2014)
Talia Balsam (b. 1959)

Joyce Benignia Van Patten (born March 9, 1934) is an American stage, film, and television actress, best known for the wry, astringent, and neurotic characters she portrays. Among many roles, one of her most recognized is that of the wise, elderly wife of Rob Schneider's character in the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups (2010).

Personal life[edit]

Van Patten was born in New York City to Josephine Rose (née Acerno), a magazine advertising executive, and Richard Byron Van Patten, an interior decorator.[1] Her mother was of Italian descent, while her father was of Dutch and English ancestry.

She is the younger sister of actor Dick Van Patten, half sister of actor/director Tim Van Patten and actor John Van Patten. Following a relatively brief marriage to Thomas King at the age of sixteen (she gave birth to a son, Thomas, Jr., a year later), she married and divorced three more times, including to actors Dennis Dugan and Martin Balsam, by which marriage she had her daughter, actress Talia Balsam.


Van Patten has appeared in dozens of television series. She was a member of the original cast of As the World Turns. She made her television debut as a featured regular on The Danny Kaye Show, after which she co-starred with Bob Denver and Herb Edelman in the 1968-70 sitcom The Good Guys as Claudia Gramus, the long-suffering wife of diner owner Bert Gramus (played by Edelman). She appeared in two episodes of Perry Mason ("The Case of the Prankish Professor" and "The Case of the Thermal Thief"). She appeared in guest or recurring roles on Stoney Burke, Hawaii Five-0, Gunsmoke, The Untouchables, The Law and Mr. Jones, The Twilight Zone ("Passage on the Lady Anne"), The Jack Benny Program, Family Affair, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Andy Griffith Show, Mr. Novak, The Outer Limits, Mannix, The Rockford Files, The Bob Newhart Show, The Odd Couple, Lou Grant, Law & Order, Oz, and The Sopranos. On a 1976 episode of Columbo, "Old Fashioned Murder", Van Patten played the lead, as a museum owner and curator who commits murder. In 1974, she had a minor role in the episode "Negative Reaction" (with Dick Van Dyke) of the same series. In 1979, she starred as Iris Chapman in The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, and appeared in The Martian Chronicles the following year. In 1995, she played Maureen, Jennie's mother, for two seasons on the WB sitcom Unhappily Ever After. In 2005, she played Carol Prudy, Susan Mayer's stepmother, on two episodes of Desperate Housewives.

Her film credits include I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968), The Trouble with Girls (1969), Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (1970), Making It (1971), Something Big (1971), Bone (1972), Thumb Tripping (1972), Mame (1974), The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975), The Bad News Bears (1976), Mikey and Nicky (1976), The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), St. Elmo's Fire (1985), Billy Galvin (1986), Blind Date (1987), Monkey Shines (1988), Grown Ups (2010), This Must Be the Place (2011), and God's Pocket (2014).


At age 9, Van Patten made her stage debut in Tomorrow, the World!.[2] She appeared on Broadway in, among other shows, A Hole in the Head, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Murder at the Howard Johnson's, Rumors, and Rabbit Hole. She appeared off-Broadway in such dramas as Love, Loss, and What I Wore, The Vagina Monologues, and Chekhov's The Seagull. She also appeared and recorded, with Charles Aidman and Naomi Caryl Hirschhorn, excerpts from Spoon River Anthology.[3][4]


  1. ^ Joyce Van Patten profile at
  2. ^ Morehouse, Rebecca (November 16, 1975). "Joyce Van Patten Is Back On Broadway". The High Point Enterprise. p. 27. Retrieved July 31, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]

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