We have lost one of our favorite television father figures.
Actor, musician, and television host Alan Thicke died on December 13 at the age of 69. He reportedly suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons.
Thicke’s generation-spanning career included several memorable roles as both actor and host over the years.
After gaining attention in the late ’70s as a gameshow host, the Canadian actor later hosted his own talk shows: The Alan Thicke Show in Canada, and Thicke of the Night in the U.S. However, it was his role as the patriarch of the Seaver family in the long-running sitcom Growing Pains that may be what he’s best known for among fans and television audiences.
Thicke played psychiatrist Jason Seaver on the series, which premiered in 1985 and ran for seven seasons on the ABC network. The show chronicled the lives of Seaver and his family in suburban Long Island, New York, and was nominated for a long list of awards during its run, including a Golden Globe Award nomination for Thicke in 1988.
In later years, Thicke played a starring role in the Disney’s Not Quite Human television movie series, portraying the inventor of an android named Chip (played by Jay Underwood) who can pass as a teenage boy. The three-film series was based on the book series of the same name authored by Seth McEvoy.
Thicke most recently appeared in the second season of the Netflix series Fuller House.
Along with his on-screen roles, Thicke also had a prolific career as a songwriter, penning the themes to several well-known television sitcom and game shows. The theme songs to the sitcoms Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life were both collaborations with his former wife, Gloria Loring, with Thicke himself singing the Diff’rent Strokes theme.
Thicke is survived by his wife and three sons, one of whom is Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke.