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September 5, 2015

'Eight Is Enough' Cast: Where Are They Now?

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 1st 2010 12:30PM
Where is the cast of 'Eight Is Enough' now?

Long before there were Octomoms and reality TV shows featuring dozens of children there were the Bradfords of ABC's 'Eight Is Enough.' The sitcom was based on the life and book of syndicated newspaper columnist Thomas Braden and his real-life eight children. 'Eight Is Enough' aired for five seasons from 1977-1981. The cast reunited on 'The Today Show' March 1, prompting our trip down memory lane.

Adam Rich

Nicholas Bradford
Rich played the youngest of the eight, lovable Nicholas. After 'Eight' he went on to guest star on 'The Love Boat,' 'Baywatch' and 'Fantasy Island,' but Rich is now most likely remembered for his legal troubles. Rich, who did not appear on the 'Today Show' reunion, has had numerous arrests due to substance abuse, shoplifting and breaking and entering. In fact, Rich's TV dad, Dick Van Patten bailed him out of jail at one point. In 2003, Rich was arrested for driving while intoxicated on a stretch of Interstate 10 in the Los Angeles area.

Dick Van Patten
Tom Bradford
Van Patten is no stranger to TV fans. After portraying the 'Eight' patriarch for five years, Van Patten appeared on programs such as 'Arrested Development,' and '7th Heaven.' Van Patten made regular appearances in Mel Brooks films including 'Spaceballs' and 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights.' In November 2009, Van Patten co-wrote 'Eighty Is Not Enough,' a book detailing his insights and anecdotes from his long career.

Willie Aames
Tommy Bradford
After 'Eight,' Aames went on to another memorable role as Buddy in 'Charles in Charge.' After 'Eight,' Aames struggled with drugs, but eventually mended his way and became an ordained minister. From 1995-2004, Aames played Bibleman in a video series and tour. He recently resurfaced in the public eye after an appearance on VH1's 'Celebrity Fit Club' where he displayed erratic behavior and clashed with the cast. In 2008, Aames filed for bankruptcy. Aames' financial troubles were documented in the VH1 program 'Broke & Famous: Willie Aames."

Betty Buckley
Sandra Sue Abbott
Buckley joined the 'Eight' cast during the second season after Dianna Hyland's death. Buckley's character became the stepmom of the Bradford kids. After 'Eight,' Buckley appeared in several films including 'Tender Mercies,' 'Another Woman' and 'Frantic.' Buckley's other TV credits include 'Monk,' 'Without a Trace' and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.' Buckley, an accomplished singer and Broadway star, has released 13 albums, her most recent in 2008. Buckley can next be seen in the HBO series 'The Pacific.'

Grant Goodeve
David Bradford
Like many of his 'Eight' costars, Bradford went on to guest star on numerous shows including 'The Love Boat,' 'Dynasty' and 'Fantasy Island.' Goodeve also appeared on 'One Life to Live' and 'Murder, She Wrote.' The actor has also done some voices for several popular video games including 'Star Fox: Assault' and 'Team Fortress 2.' Goodeve recently took to the stage and appeared in performances with the Taproot Theatre Company.

Laurie Walters
Joanie Bradford
After 'Eight,' Walters made guest appearances on shows such as 'Cheers,' Highway to Heaven' and 'Dragnet,' but she has not acted on TV since 1993. Currently, Walters is the head of film acquisitions for Ironweed Films, a distributor of independent documentaries and short films.

Lani O'Grady
Mary Bradford
In 1982 O'Grady appeared alongside Gary Coleman in 'The Kid with the Broken Halo,' Her last acting role was as Mrs. Kramer on 'Days of our Lives' in 1990. O'Grady suffered from agoraphobia, severe panic attacks and memory blackouts in the 1990s. In 1998, she checked into a hospital for detox. O'Grady died in 2002 after an apparent drug overdose.

Susan Richardson
Susan Bradford
Richardson made appearances on 'Fantasy Island' and 'The Love Boat.' Her last credited film role was in the TV movie 'An Eight Is Enough Wedding.' In 1987, Richardson reportedly came forward and claimed filmmakers kidnapped her and tried to kill her in North Korea. Reports indicate Richardson had a nervous breakdown in 1999, but has since recovered and is now working as a nursing home caregiver in a Pennsylvania town. Richardson did not appear on the 'Today' reunion.

Dianne Kay
Nancy Bradford
Kay made several TV appearances after 'Eight.' She appeared on shows such as 'Murder, She Wrote,' 'The Love Boat,' and 'Diagnosis Murder.' Her last credited role was the 1999 episode of 'Diagnosis Murder.' Kay reportedly lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles.

Connie Needham
Elizabeth Bradford
Needham appeared on NBC's 'Fame' as a dancer with multiple sclerosis, 'L.A. Law,' 'Police Squad!' and 'The Love Boat.' Needham taught dance at the Jimmie DeFore Dance Center until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Diana Hyland
Joan Bradford
Hyland was diagnosed with breast cancer and was only able to film nine episodes of 'Eight' before cancer took her life. Her character also died on the show.

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Catherine Ann Sears

Wish they'd have told what the significance of the names in red print from the names in black print means.

April 01 2015 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If this show was based on the real life of syndicated newspaper columnist Thomas Braden and his real-life eight children, Then is the part about him becoming a widower and remarrying real or was that part BS since Diana Hyland who played Joan Bradford had died?

January 15 2013 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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