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Eight Is Enough (TV Series 1977–1981) Poster

(1977–1981)

Trivia

The death of actress Diana Hyland during the production of the spring 1977 episodes forced major changes in the show. Hyland had completed only four episodes as the mother of the family and was written out of the remainder as being "away." When the series returned with new episodes that fall, Tom Bradford had become a widower, his wife having died about "a year ago."
Even though Mark Hamill didn't like the more comedic direction the show was heading in, he decided to honor his commitment to the show. However, the night the pilot aired he was involved in a serious auto accident where he sustained serious facial injuries and was forced to quit the show. Hamill has stated numerous times that the full extent of his injuries was only a broken nose.
David Bradford was originally played by Mark Hamill, who appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) the year this series began.
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Based on the 1975 autobiographical account of newspaper editor and columnist Thomas Braden, who also served as co-host, with Pat Buchanan, of CNN's "Crossfire".
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Laurie Walters who played daughter Joanie is actually older than Betty Buckley who played her step-mother Abby on the show.
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In a 2000 interview on the E! True Hollywood Story, Dick Van Patten stated that no one called him to inform him of the show's cancellation. Instead, he read about it in a newspaper.
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Abby's first husband was killed in Vietnam.
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The character 'Tom Bradford' was ranked #33 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).
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During the first couple of seasons an instrumental version of the theme was played during the opening. However, in later seasons lyrics were added and the theme was sung by Grant Goodeve, who played David.
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Grant Goodeve portrayed David who was the oldest of the Bradford children, but in reality Susan Richardson (Susan), Laurie Walters (Joanie) and Dianne Kay (Nancy) were all older than Goodeve.
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Grant Goodeve suggested to the writers that David and Janet get divorced because he felt his character wasn't being featured often enough in story lines.
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Mary attended the University of California at Berkeley for her medical training.
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The kids, from oldest to youngest, were David, Mary, Joanie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth, Tommy and Nicholas. In real life, the actors rank thus: Joanie, Susan, Nancy, David, Mary, Elizabeth, Tommy, and Nicholas.
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Aside from Dick Van Patten, for the season 3-5 opening credits, the main actors who did not appear in the pilot are billed before those who did appear in the pilot, mostly due to last name alphabetically. Betty Buckley, Grant Goodeve, Willie Aames, and Dianne Kay, who did not appear in the pilot, are billed before Connie Needham, Lani O'Grady, Adam Rich, Susan Richardson, and Laurie Walters, who did appear in the pilot.
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One of television's two (along with Love Boat) hour long sitcoms that used a laugh track. Love American Style and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour were also hour long sitcoms that used a laugh track.
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Mark Hamill was in a one-car accident in January, 1977. He had severe facial injuries and his scars were still visible 2 years later, while filming The Empire Strikes Back in 1979.
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Lani Grady, Kimberly Beck and Derrel Maury all starred on episodes of Eight is Enough and also in the movie Massacre at Central High.
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In 1976, before Eight is Enough was even in preproduction, both Lani Grady and Betty Buckley would star in horror classics. Lani starred in Massacre at Central High and Betty Buckley starred in Carrie.
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Lani Grady and Kimberly Beck, who both played Bradford sisters, both appeared naked in movies before Eight is Enough started it's first season; infact, they were both naked in the same movie together, Massacre at Central High, in 1976.
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Lani Grady was the younger sister of Don Grady who played Robbie Douglas on My Three Sons, which was another popular family sitcom, like Eight is Enough was. Tragically, Lani would die of a drug overdose shortly after Eight is Enough wrapped. Robbie died too, of natural causes in 2012.
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Diana Hyland, who played Joan, died two days before episode 3 aired.
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Actress Laurie Walters (Joanie) was only 11 years younger than Diana Hyland, who played her mother. Miss Walters was also 3 months older than Betty Buckley, who played her step-mother.
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