Adept at both comedy and drama, veteran actress Joyce Van Patten was born in New York City. Prodded by a typically assertive stage mother, Joyce and her equally famous older brother Dick Van Patten displayed natural talent and did quite well for themselves at an early age. Joyce was auditioning for modeling roles before reaching her first birthday, and by age eight, was appearing on radio and on Broadway in “Love’s Old Sweet Song” by William Saroyan. One year later, she and Dick had bit roles in the film Reg’lar Fellers (1941) and appeared together in the play “The Wind Is Ninety” (1945).
Following a relatively brief marriage to Thomas King at the age of 16 and the birth of their son Casey King a year later, Joyce grew into young adult roles and found parts in a number of popular plays including “The Desk Set” (1955) and “A Hole in the Head” (1957). She appeared with Dick in New York in “The Male Animal” (1953), “The Tender Trap” (1955), and “Oh Men! Oh Women! (1955). Joyce downplayed her beauty for smart, cynical, earthier characters and specialized in wry comedy. Some of her other notable film appearances were in Fourteen Hours (1951), The Goddess (1958), I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968), and Making It (1971), which also featured her brother Dick.
Her career in television began to flourish with appearances on the TV daytime dramas As the World Turns (1956) and Young Dr. Malone (1958), The Danny Kaye Show (1963) for four seasons, The Good Guys (1968) for two seasons, and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour (1979) for one season, in addition to countless guest appearances on other comedy and drama series such as Judging Amy (1999), Desperate Housewives (2004), and The Good Wife (2009).
Joyce has also been a wonderful presence in a number of popular shows on Broadway stage, including: “Spoon River Anthology”. “Same Time, Next Year”, “I Oughta Be in Pictures”, “The Supporting Cast”, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “Rumors”, “Jake’s Women”, “Ring Round the Moon” (1999), “Taller Than a Dwarf” (2000), “Harvey” (2003), “The Oldest Profession” (2004), and “Rabbit Hole” (2006).
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