Published January 15, 2013
“Eight Is Enough” (1977-1981) was one of TV's first "dramedies.” For five seasons audiences watched the Bradford family" fill their lives with love." But which Bradford found fame on Broadway? Who struggled after the show? Our friends at Snakkle.com track down the stars of the show to see where they are today.
Dick Van Patten as Tom Bradford THEN
Young Dickie Van Patten started out on the stage, and did indeed call himself Dickie. Eventually he wisely shortened his name to Dick, making his small-screen debut on the long-running series “Mama” (1949). Many roles followed, but to this day he is still best known as columnist/patriarch Tom Bradford.
Dick Van Patten NOW
Van Patten has acted on numerous TV series, everything from “The Love Boat” to “Arrested Development.” He also founded the pet food company Natural Balance and published a memoir, “Eighty Is Not Enough.” Now 83 years old, he is still acting, making appearances on TV shows like “That 70s Show” to “Hot in Cleveland” in 2012.
Adam Rich as Nicholas Bradford THEN
Playing the youngest of the Bradford clan, Adam Rich was America's little brother. In the late '70s and early '80s, thousands of boys sported a Nicholas-style haircut.
Adam Rich NOW
Rich had recurring roles on the series “Code Red” (1981-1982) and reunited with his on-screen brother, actor Willie Aames to star in the animated “Dungeons & Dragons” (1983-1985). Rich has had issue with drugs and alcohol, and was reportedly once bailed out of jail by Dick Van Patten.
Susan Richardson as Susan Bradford Stockwell THEN
Susan Richardson was in the film “American Graffiti” and also did an episode of “Happy Days” before becoming a Bradford. Not only did she have the same name as her character, she gave birth on the show and in real life.
Susan Richardson NOW
Susan Richardson was the subject of some controversy in 1987 after claiming that she had been kidnapped and almost murdered by North Korean filmmakers; there are conflicting reports about the accuracy of her story. Susan battled drug addiction, and did not participate in a 2010 cast reunion. She was most recently reported to be living in Pennsylvania, working at a nursing home.
Lani O'Grady as Mary Bradford THEN
Lanita Rose Agrati changed her name to Lani O'Grady after she landed what would become her defining role. Pre-“Eight,” she appeared in several TV movies, helped along by her talent-agent family.
After the family TV series, O'Grady costarred with 80s kid actor Gary Coleman in “The Kid with the Broken Halo” (1982). After that, she retired from acting, returning to reprise her role as Mary Bradford in “Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion” (1987) and “An Eight Is Enough Wedding” (1989) and to do a spot on “Days of Our Lives” (1990). Sadly, she died in 2001, reportedly of an accidental drug overdose, after battling addiction for many years.