Actor Alan Thicke has died. He was 69.
Carleen Donovan, a publicist for Thicke’s son, singer Robin Thicke, said the Canadian-born actor died from a heart attack Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ont., in 1947, Thicke was best known for his role as Dr. Jason Seaver, the responsible and lovable father in the ’80s sitcom Growing Pains.
In an interview with q host Tom Power earlier this month, he boasted about the show’s history of touching on difficult subject matter while maintaining a light and comedic tone.
“I’m proud our writers tackled that stuff,” he said.
Thicke worked as an actor, talk show host and a songwriter who penned the theme songs for famous shows including Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and Wheel of Fortune.
Between 1980 and 1983, he hosted a Canadian afternoon talk show on CTV called The Alan Thicke Show, which he followed up with the short-lived U.S. late-night show Thicke of the Night, an unsuccessful competitor to The Tonight Show.
“It was a complete dog. Johnny Carson kicked my Canadian butt,” Thicke joked on q. “I wasn’t very good at late night, which is the domain of stand-up comedy. I was a schmooze-ier kind of guy.”
Most recently, he starred in the film I Don’t Care and It’s Not My Fault Anyway, which premiered Dec. 2 at the Whistler Film Festival in B.C., where he was given the Canadian Icon Award.
“By this point you’re either an icon or a punch line,” he told Power, adding: “I really felt very privileged to be honoured this way.”
Thicke was set to appear in season 2 of Fuller House, Netflix’s reboot of the ’90s family sitcom Full House.
Fellow comedian Bob Saget of Full House fame called Thicke “a good husband, father, brother and friend,” while comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres declared: “America loved Alan Thicke.”
America loved Alan Thicke. I’m so sad he’s gone. Sending so much love to his family.
So sad is the passing of Alan Thicke. Such a good husband, father, brother, and friend. He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace dear Alan.
He was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his work in the late 1970s as a writer for Barry Manilow’s talk show, and later for a satirical take on the genre in the variety show America 2-Night.
Thicke, who was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2013, leaves behind his wife, Tanya, and sons Brennan, Carter and Robin.
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