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Joyce Van Patten Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (8)

Overview (2)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Birth NameJoyce Benignia Van Patten

Mini Bio (1)

Adept at both comedy and drama, veteran "second lead" and character actress Joyce Van Patten was born on March 9, 1934, in New York City. Prodded by a typically assertive magazine editor (stage) mother, Joyce and her equally famous older brother Dick Van Patten displayed natural talent and began performing regularly at a very early age.

Of Dutch, English and Italian descent, Joyce was auditioning for modeling roles before reaching her first birthday, and by the age of 6 was on Broadway performing in the play "Popsy" (1941). In the same year she and brother Dick appear on radio with "Reg'lar Fellers," a summer replacement series for "The Jack Benny Program." As an adolescent, Joyce appeared in the Broadway plays "This Rock" (1943), "Tomorrow the World" (1943), "The Perfect Marriage" (1944), "The Wind Is Ninety" (1945) (also with Dickie) and "The Bees and the Flowers" (1946).

Following her relatively brief marriage (1950-1953) to Thomas King at the age of 16 which produced her son Thomas Casey King, who later turned actor and billed himself as Casey King, Joyce moved to teen parts on such TV anthologies as "Armstrong Circle Theatre" and "Kraft Theatre." On TV she appeared a few times on brother Dick's TV series Mama (1949) and originated the role of Janice Turner Hughes on the popular daytime soaper As the World Turns (1956).

As she grew into a young adult, Joyce purposely dressed down and downplayed her beauty in order to play more interesting characters. Specializing in smart, calculating, cynical, earthy and brittle characters, Joyce reveled in wry comedy as well as quirky drama. Making an inauspicious film debut with an unbilled role in the urban drama Fourteen Hours (1951) with a later small part in The Goddess (1958) starring Kim Stanley, Joyce remained a strong presence on TV and in the theatre. Such popular Broadway shows would include "The Desk Set" (1955), "A Hole in the Head" (1957) and "Spoon River Anthology" (1963). She also appeared with Dick elsewhere on stage with "The Male Animal" (1953), "The Tender Trap" (1955), and "Oh Men! Oh Women! (1955). In 1957, she married actor Martin Balsam and their daughter, Talia Balsam, also became an actress.

In addition to co-starring in the TV diner sitcom The Good Guys (1968) co-starring Bob Denver and Herb Edelman and playing a neurotic assistant to a TV variety show star in The Mary Tyler Moore Hour (1979), Joyce would grace a host of popular 60's and 70's TV shows, including "The Defenders," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Ben Casey," "Dr. Kildare," " "Perry Mason," "The Danny Kaye Show," "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Outer Limits," "The Jack Benny Program," "Gunsmoke," "Mannix," "Love, American Style," "Medical Center," "The Odd Couple," "Columbo," "The Bold Ones," "Family" and "The Bob Newhart Show."

Joyce's infrequent movie roles would be some of her most interesting and quirkiest. She played naïve "square" Peter Sellers's plain-Jane girlfriend in the "hippy" comedy I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968); played one half of a romantic couple with real brother Dick(!) in the teen dramedy Making It (1971); portrayed one-half of a bickering couple held hostage and given marital advice by a house-breaking thief in Bone (1972) (featuring son Casey); played an embittered woman picking up hitchhikers in Thumb Tripping (1972); played a conniving Southern belle fiancée in the Lucille Ball version of Mame (1974); portrayed a bedridden trailer park trash wife in the murder mystery The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975); and a blunt Little League supervisor in the hit comedy The Bad News Bears (1976). She also returned to Broadway as a replacement in the two-person comedy drama "Same Time, Next Year" (1975) and the short-lived "Murder at the Howard Johnsons" (1979).

Other vital theatre, both Broadway and regional, in later years included "I Oughta Be in Pictures" (1980), "The Supporting Cast" (1981), "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1983), "Rumors" (1988), "Jake's Women" (1992), "Ring Round the Moon" (1999), "Taller Than a Dwarf" (2000), "Harvey" (2003), "The Oldest Profession" (2004), and "Rabbit Hole" (2006) and "The People in Pictures" (2011). Also, seen in TV movie versions of hit plays such as You Can't Take It with You (1979) as Miss Wellington, and Bus Stop (1982) as diner owner Grace, she also appeared in Malice in Wonderland (1985), Maid for Each Other (1992) and Jake's Women (1996). She also was part of the cast for the first season of the comedy Unhappily Ever After (1995). She was a standout as the overbearing mother to Jason Beghe's quadriplegic son in the horror flick Monkey Shines (1988).

Into the millennium, Joyce has supporting roles in the films Marley & Me (2008), Grown Ups (2010), God's Pocket (2014) and Diane (2018); and the TV programs "Oz," "The Sopranos," "NYPD Blue," "Desperate Housewives," "The Good Wife," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Cady Did."

After two rather brief marriages, Joyce married twice more -- briefly to actor Hal Lynch and a longer one to actor Dennis Dugan.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Family (3)

Spouse Dennis Dugan (1973 - 1987)  (divorced)
Hal Lynch (21 January 1968 - September 1970)  (divorced)
Martin Balsam (18 August 1957 - 14 August 1962)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Thomas Casey King (15 July 1950 - 1953)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Talia Balsam
Relatives Dick Van Patten (sibling)
Vincent Van Patten (niece or nephew)
Nels Van Patten (niece or nephew)
James Van Patten (niece or nephew)
Grace Van Patten (niece or nephew)

Trade Mark (1)

Often played astringent, nervy, or sharp-tongued characters, with some notable exceptions.

Trivia (8)

Daughter of Richard Byron Van Patten and wife Josephine Rose Acerno. Sister of actor Dick Van Patten (they appeared together as children in Reg'lar Fellers (1941), and, decades later, in Making It (1971)). Half sister of Timothy Van Patten. Sister-in-law of Pat Van Patten. Aunt of Vincent Van Patten, Nels Van Patten and James Van Patten.
Mother of actress Talia Balsam. Mother-in-law of actor John Slattery. Former mother-in-law of George Clooney.
Half sister of Timothy Van Patten.
She played the wife of her ex-husband Martin Balsam in St. Elmo's Fire (1985).
Made her debut at five months old modeling a baby blanket in a Sears catalog.
She has a son named Thomas Casey King, who was born in New York City on November 12, 1951 was from her first marriage. He has gone by the acting stage name Casey King and made his film debut at age 19 in Making It (1971) which featured both his mother Joyce Van Patten and uncle Dick Van Patten.
As a small child, she auditioned for the role of Bonnie Blue Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939).
She made guest appearances on both of the longest running prime time dramas in US television history: Gunsmoke (1955) and Law & Order (1990).

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