Legendary actor Alan Thicke, best known for his role as Jason Seaver on the classic 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, has passed away. He was just 69 years old. According to TMZ, his death was the result of a heart attack following a hockey game earlier in the day.
Thicke's portrayal of Seaver, a psychiatrist who moves his practice to the home after his wife returns to work as a reporter, affected a generation of viewers. Many children of the 1980s point to Seaver as the quintessential father figure, a feeling that some have carried with them throughout their lives. He spoke CBC q with host Tom Power just last month about the impact Growing Pains had on viewers. The show strived to discuss current events and contentious social issues while still maintaining a comedic tone. Thicke felt they achieved that fine balance, telling Power that he was "proud our writers" tackled tricky issues of the time, like homelessness and drug use.
The famous Canadian actor, born in Kirkland, Ontario, has also appeared as a guest star in a number of notable shows. He shone in How I Met Your Mother and absolutely stole his episode of Fuller House. He began his career as a writer, working his way up to television host and, eventually, leading man.
Thicke also had a relatively successful career, albeit with much less name recognition, as a jingle composer and television writer. He penned the theme songs to shows like Wheel Of Fortune, The Facts of Life, and Diff'rent Strokes. Thicke was also a fantastic writer, receiving an Emmy nomination in the 1970s for his work on Barry Manilow's talk show, and worked on many other comedy specials.
Celebrities across the globe, who have worked with the actor in a number of different capacities, have taken to Twitter to express their sympathies:
America loved Alan Thicke. I'm so sad he's gone. Sending so much love to his family.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 14, 2016
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.— bob saget (@bobsaget) December 14, 2016
Alan Thicke was always the nicest and happiest person in the room. Gone way too soon. Rest In Peace.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 14, 2016 https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/808858077789241344 https://twitter.com/DaveCoulier/status/808865734503735300 https://twitter.com/David_Boreanaz/status/808883712230199296 https://twitter.com/howiemandel/status/808857955323912192
In addition to the scores of celebrities who will miss Thicke's presence in this ever-changing world, average, everyday fans will also feel this incredible loss. Personally speaking, his sense of humour, that faux arrogance that almost borders on self-deprecation, will be missed most of all. When my own father passed away, I saw shades of him in Thicke's portrayal of Seaver, in other roles he brought to life throughout the years, and in candid interviews. At times, I could even hear him laughing at Thicke's jokes ("Mike here" being chief among them). Growing Pains gave so many of us a loving family when we needed one the most. Thicke truly was a quintessential father figure who touched the lives of so many fans with his delivery of paternal speeches and terribly hilarious dad jokes alike. I think Bure spoke for us all when she said, simply yet aptly, "my heart hurts".
Our hearts go out to Thicke's wife, Tanya, and his sons, Brennan, Carter, and Robin. We send our condolences to friends and fans across the globe who are also mourning his loss.