Actor Alan Thicke

VIDEO: Actor Alan Thicke dies at age 69

The Growing Pains star died of a heart attack Tuesday in Los Angeles



Canadian Alan Thicke, a versatile performer who gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on a long-running sitcom, has died at age 69.

Carleen Donovan, who is a publicist for Thicke’s son, singer Robin Thicke, says the Kirkland Lake, Ont., actor died from a heart attack Tuesday in Los Angeles. She had no further details.

A photo posted by Robin Thicke (@robinthicke) on Dec 13, 2016 at 11:57pm PST

Thicke starred in the ABC series “Growing Pains” from 1985 until 1992. He played Dr. Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist and father-knows-best who moved his practice into his home so his wife could return to work as a reporter. Along with his clients, he had three (later four) kids under foot, including his oldest son, Mike, played by breakout heart-throb Kirk Cameron, who served as a constant source of comedic trouble for the family.

Thicke, who was also a composer and a writer, had a prolific career that included cameos in recent years on the comedy “How I Met Your Mother” and the Netflix series “Fuller House.” He was also a frequent pitchman for ads on Sirius.

Thicke was born in 1947 and was a popular talk show host on Canadian television before making his name in the United States. 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.”

Perhaps his boldest assault on the U.S. market was as a virtual unknown taking on the King of Late Night, Johnny Carson. “Thicke of the Night” was a syndicated talk-music-and-comedy show meant to go head-to-head against NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

It premiered in September 1983 with great fanfare, boasting an innovative format and regulars including Richard Belzer, Arsenio Hall, Gilbert Gottfried and Fred Willard. But all too quickly, it was evident that Carson wasn’t going to be dethroned, and the ambitious “Thicke” disappeared into the night after one season.

Thicke was also the composer of several popular theme songs, including the original theme to “The Wheel of Fortune,” and shows such as “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”

Several Canadian entertainers have reacted to Thicke’s death with sadness.

“I am shocked & devastated at the news of Alan Thicke’s death. A friend for many years, he wrote & produced so many of my TV specials,” said singer Anne Murray.

Comedian Howie Mandel called Thicke a “good man” who gave him some big breaks in his early days. Actor William Shatner added on Twitter that he was “saddened over the loss of my friend Alan. Condolences to his family.”

Like any good Canadian, Thicke was a hockey fan, frequently attending Los Angeles Kings games. He took credit for introducing the sport to some celebrities. He began playing at age 5, but acknowledged he wasn’t very good at it.

“You were expected to play,” he said in 1998. “I was never good enough for the big time, but I always had fun at it.”

In 2003, Thicke received 30 stitches and lost five teeth after he was struck by a puck while practicing for a celebrity fundraising hockey game. “I won’t be playing any leading men roles in the next couple of months,” he joked after the accident.

He had the satisfaction of seeing his musical skills passed down to son Robin, a successful singer-songwriter and producer who, with brother Brennan, were born to Thicke and the first of his three wives, Gloria Loring.

In an email, Loring described Thicke’s passing as “a shock. We were all just together for Thanksgiving. He was funny, talented and deeply devoted to his family.”

Thicke also leaves a son from his marriage to second wife Gina Tolleson. He had been married to Tanya Callau since 2005.

 

With files from The Canadian Press

Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: Yale firefighters fight late night cabin fire in Spuzzum

Neighbours started fighting fire until crews arrived an hour later

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

Virtual public hearing set for developer with plans to subdivide Willow Street lot

People can submit comments in advance, or call to be added to a speakers list, ahead of June 3rd hearing

Cyclist in his 50s victim of fatal crash near Hope Thursday

Police have ruled out speed, impairment as factors after a tractor-trailer struck a man in his 50s

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

VIDEO: Yarrow’s Corwin Drew in final four of Vancouver Whitecaps Academy skills competition

The soccer star is looking for community support to get him through the next round of online voting

Most Read