Skip to main content

Van Patten, James 1956–

Van Patten, James 1956–

(Jimmy Van Patten, Jimmy Van Patton)


Born October 7, 1956, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Dick (an actor) and Pat (an actress) Van Patten; brother of Vincent Van Patten (an actor) and Nels Van Patten (an actor); nephew of Joyce Van Patten (an actress); cousin of Talia Balsam (an actress); married Shana Hiatt (an actress). Avocational Interests: Playing poker.

Career: Actor, producer, and writer. Began career as a child actor.

Awards, Honors: Video Software Dealers Association Award and New York Video Software Dealers Association Award, both best comedy video of the year, 1990, for Dirty Tennis.


Film Appearances:

Surfer, Lifeguard, Paramount, 1976.

(As Jimmy Van Patten) Cashier, Freaky Friday, Buena Vista, 1976.

Jake, Hot Lead and Cold Feet, Buena Vista, 1978.

(As Jimmy Van Patten) Mike, California Dreaming, American International Pictures, 1979.

First soldier, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Buena Vista, 1979.

(As Jimmy Van Patten) Hoppy, Roller Boogie, Compass International Pictures, 1979.

Biff, Lunch Wagon (also known as Come 'n' Get It and Lunch Wagon Girls), Seymour Borde and Associates, 1981.

Billy, Tennessee Stallion, 1982.

Kevin Carrigan, Young Warriors (also known as The Graduates of Malibu High), Cannon, 1983.

(As Jimmy Van Patten) Todd, The Underachievers (also known as Night School), Lightning Pictures/PMS Filmworks, 1987.

Steve Worthington, Nightforce, Vestron, 1987.

Dave Roberts, Private Road: No Trespassing, Trans World Entertainment, 1987.

Mel, American Revenge, Las Vegas Movie and Television/Odox Investments, 1988.

Raymond Scully, Hyper Space, Highlight Video, 1989.

Kelsey, Twisted Justice, Borde Releasing, 1990.

Wheelchair attendant, Life Stinks (also known as Life Sucks), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1991.

Villager, Robin Hood: Men in Rights (also known as Sacre Robin des bois), Columbia, 1993.

Dick Kelly, The Killing Jar (also known as Trapped), Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment, 1994.

Harvard man, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (also known as Don't Be a Menace), Miramax, 1996.

Tactical action officer, Freedom Strike, A-Pix Entertainment, 1998.

Tyler Mann, The Flunky, 2000.

Parker Nash, Backyard Dogs, PM Entertainment Group, 2000.

The Flunky, 2000.

(As Jimmy Van Patton) Jackson, Quiet Kill (also known as Nightmare Boulevard), I.Q. Entertainment, 2004.

Vinnie, Once in a Lifetime: Just Go for It, L.A. Film Productions, 2006.

Film Producer:

The Break, Trimark Pictures, 1995.

The Flunky, 2000.

Television Appearances; Movies:

(As Jimmy Van Patten) Bucky Landers, "The Ghost of Cypress Swamp," Disneyland (also known as Disney's Wonderful World, The Disney Sunday Movie, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and The Wonderful World of Disney), NBC, 1977.

Nick, For Love and Honor, NBC, 1983.

David Webber, The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission, NBC, 1987.

Merle, An Eight Is Enough Wedding, NBC, 1989.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Mike, "Good, Bad Boy," The Odd Couple, ABC, 1972.

Corky Sibley, "The Initiation," Bonanza (also known as Ponderosa), NBC, 1972.

(As Jimmy Van Patten) Tim, "The Hanging of Newly O'Brien," Gunsmoke (also known as Gun Law and Marshal Dillon), CBS, 1973.

"Fear," Three for the Road, CBS, 1975.

Mark, "Family Ties," Emergency! (also known as Emergency One and Emergencia), NBC, 1977.

Sandy, "Hollywood: Parts 1-3," Happy Days, ABC, 1977.

Sandy (in archive footage), "Richie's Girl Exposes the Cunninghams," Happy Days, ABC, 1978.

Daniels, "Libel," Lou Grant, CBS, 1980.

For Love and Honor (pilot episode), NBC, 1983.

"Dom DeLuise," This Is Your Life, syndicated, 1983.

Tony Maskeli, "Playing for Keeps," Scarecrow and Mrs. King, CBS, 1986.

Gordon De Ville, "Avenging Angel," Pacific Blue, USA Network, 1997.

"Dick Van Patten," Living in TV Land, TV Land, 2004.

Also appeared in Poison, Showtime.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Luke Price, Josie, syndicated, 1983.

"Dick Van Patten: The Sure Bet," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Television Appearances; Other:

Mark Brewster, Love and Learn (pilot), NBC, 1979.

Bo Chisholm, The Chisholms (miniseries), CBS, 1979.

Bo Chisholm, The Chisholms (series), CBS, 1980.

Joe Brock, High Powder, 1982.

Stage Appearances:

Harvey, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach, CA, and Cord Theatre, New York City, 2004.

Appeared in Breakfast with Les and Bes, Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre, Jupiter, FL; and Mr. Roberts, Fiesta Theatre, San Antonio, TX.

Major Tours:

Ben Silverman, The Sunshine Boys, U.S. cities, 2001–2002.

Also toured in Passengers, Frank Kenley Players.



Dirty Tennis (short film), MCA Home Video, 1989. Coauthor, The Flunky, 2000.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Van Patten, James 1956–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . 20 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Van Patten, James 1956–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . (January 20, 2019).

"Van Patten, James 1956–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.