Eight is Enough
Did you watch Eight is Enough? I thought it was a fun show and I watched it for at least the first couple of years. I think it was on Tuesday nights. Several actors from that show have not done well since it ended in 1981. It’s almost as if the show was cursed.
Mark Hamill was originally cast as David Bradford. He was in a car accident after the pilot was shot. He suffered severe facial injuries which forced him to leave the show. Okay, this isn’t the best example of the curse of Eight is Enough. He got out of a silly show and went on to do a little movie called Star Wars. His curse came early in the form of a car accident which was actually a present. Good job.
The Curse Begins
Diana Hyland played the mom on Eight is Enough and had only completed four episodes of the show when breast cancer took her life. I knew who she was because she was in a relationship with John Travolta who was 18 years younger than her. I loved their love story. So sweet. They met on the set of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.
Lani O’Grady played the oldest know-it-all daughter. In real life, she was the younger sister of Don Grady who was on My Three Sons. Eight is Enough ended in 1981. Lani started suffering from agoraphobia and memory blackouts in the early 90’s. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance and prescribed meds. In 1994, she admitted to abusing Valium and alcohol. She died in 2001 from an overdose of Vicodin and Prozac.
Susan Richardson played Susan (brilliant), one of the middle daughters. In real life, Susan gave birth to her daughter in 1980. It was written into the show but then producers expected her to lose the baby weight (close to 100 pounds). Hey! It’s not that easy to lose weight. Anyway, Richardson felt the pressure and turned to cocaine to lose the weight. She claims she was kidnapped in 1987 and almost murdered by Korean filmmakers. In 2013, she stated that she was living in an unheated trailer with a rotting floor, had diabetes, had suffered three strokes, and had lost her teeth.
Connie Newton played the young and cute daughter on Eight is Enough. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. It appears she has made a full recover……so maybe this curse didn’t work on her. Fingers crossed.
Willie Aames played Tommy Bradford on Eight is Enough. I recently wrote a blog about him and his troubles. Click here if you want to read that. He basically became addicted to alcohol and cocaine, went bankrupt, and tried to kill himself.
Adam Rich played the adorable Nicholas Bradford. He went through a whole mess of stuff after the show ended. He has been arrested many times since 1983 for drugs, breaking and entering, shoplifting, and DUI. I haven’t heard much about him lately so I’m going to assume he’s doing fine. Maybe the Eight is Enough curse was only temporary for him.
There were other actors on the show who are doing just fine: Grant Goodeve, Betty Buckley, Laurie Walters, and Dianne Kay all seem to be having a great life. I just found it odd that there was so much tragedy to come from this one little show.
The father and main character on the show, Dick Van Patten, was always a favorite of mine. He reminded me of Winnie the Pooh. Van Patten once said that no one informed him that the show was cancelled. He read about it in a newspaper. That’s like Danny Bonaduce showing up to the studio for The Partridge Family and the dude at the gate telling him it was no more.
Dick Van Patten was always awesome and positive and wonderful. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 86. No curse for him.