I was watching the 5:00 pm news when it was announced that Alan Thicke had passed away today from a heart attack while playing hockey with his son.
Alan Thicke was born in Canada and has ties here still. On December 3rd he was here in my province of British Columbia to accept the Icon award at the Whistler film festival (Whistler was the site of many Olympic sports in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games). He tweeted his thanks for the award.
I don’t think there is much doubt that Alan Thicke will remain an Icon in this country.
While he is best known as Jason Seaver, the dad on Growing Pains, I remember him for the variety show he shot right here very close to my home. I was taking a Marketing/Public Relations program at the local technical institute and we had several field trips. One was a taping of Thicke’s show and I was amazed how he could entertain an audience. Most of the taping was just lead-ins for other segments. But everyone was genuinely having a great time, including the star himself. On the newscast they were talking about the fact that Thicke had worked in the studios they were in.
He also co-wrote some popular television theme songs such as “Different Strokes” and “Facts of Life” with his then-wife Gloria Loring (who is the mother of singer Robin Thicke and his brother Brennan). There were a bunch of game show themes as well.
Alan Thicke was only 69 and was still going strong with his acting career. He was recently seen in the pilot episode of “This Is Us” as himself, and in several episodes of season two of another of my favorites, “Fuller House”.
RIP Mr. Thicke, you will be missed.