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

Just Posted

Langley Cruise-In makes some changes for second year in Aldergrove

The annual car show will adjust its site and brings in a new “guest star.”

Housing vote a no-go in Langley until autumn

There is no vote planned on the Langley supportive housing project.

VIDEO: Langley couple reunite with Tugger three years after his disappearance

A purebred Pomeranian is back with his parents, likely after years in a puppy mill.

Popular Langley Christmas show adds new Glow to winter

Glow Christmas is being joined by an autumn Glow event. Events far afield are also planned.

Educational videos for rodeo athletes address concussions, mental health

Ty Pozzobon Foundation, Canadian Pro Sports Medicine Team produce series

Stolen sunshade puts damper on Lower Mainland woman’s pet-relief effort

Broken umbrella taken from White Rock lawn ‘within 10 minutes’

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Teen killed by train remembered for his love

Friends and family share stories of young Crescent Beach train victim

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read