One of the most beloved TV dads, Alan Thicke, has died at the age of 69.
A publicist for Thicke's son, singer Robin Thicke, said the actor died from a heart attack on Tuesday in Los Angeles. She had no further details.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Thicke had a heart attack while playing hockey with another son on Tuesday evening.
Alan Thicke poses at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2015. (Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ont., Thicke's most recognizable role was as Dr. Jason Seaver, the psychiatrist dad on the '80s sitcom "Growing Pains." Working from home, the character would dispense advice to his clients and three (later four) kids, including the oldest son played by breakout heart-throb Kirk Cameron, and neatly wrap up their problems in 30 minutes.
Thicke's impressive and versatile resume began as a TV host of a game show called "First Impressions" for a Montreal TV station in the late '70s. Thicke continued on to host talk shows as well, including "The Alan Thicke Show" in Canada and the short-lived "Thicke of the Night" in the U.S.
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."
Thicke was also a successful songwriter, composing catchy TV theme songs with his first wife, Gloria Loring. Fans of "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts Of Life" will easily recognize their work.
In the 1990s and beyond, Thicke stayed busy as a celebrity TV host and with guest shots on dozens of series, including "How I Met Your Mother" and, this year, the Netflix series "Fuller House" and the NBC drama "This Is Us."
The graduate of the University of Western Ontario found the time to write two books about fatherhood, How Men Have Babies and How To Raise Kids Who Won't Hate You.
Watch Thicke's parenting advice in a 2015 interview with HuffPost Canada:
He was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2013.
“We started in northern Ontario in a small town where I didn’t even see a television set until I was seven years old,” Thicke told ET Canada. “So when you take that moment and fast forward to what I’m experiencing today with my family here and feeling embraced by my country — that’s unique.”
Celebrities who had crossed paths with Thicke, whether through music, acting or simply as friends, expressed their sorrow at news of his death.
It's a sad day. Our friend @Alan_Thicke passed away. Always upbeat, kind, ah, the Canadian wit that never disappoint. Life well lived. RIP🙏— Gena Lee Nolin (@GenaLeeNolin) December 14, 2016
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.......— Anne Murray (@annemurray1) December 14, 2016
Just heard of #AlanThicke's passing. 1st job in LA was as an intern for him... He was a very nice boss. Sending good thoughts to his family.— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) December 14, 2016
Like any good Canadian, Thicke was a hockey fan, frequently attending LA Kings games. He took credit for introducing the sport to celebrity friends.
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.
RIP to one of the great ones, Alan Thicke. pic.twitter.com/LvlU13s23h— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 14, 2016
He had the satisfaction of seeing his musical skills passed down to son Robin, a successful singer-songwriter and producer who, with brother Brennan, was born to Thicke and Loring, the first of his three wives.
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, Carter, from his marriage to second wife Gina Tolleson. He had been married to Tanya Callau since 2005.
Alan Thicke was a father figure to a generation and will never be forgotten. #RIPAlanThicke— Jake T. Austin (@JakeTAustin) December 14, 2016
Whatever, just sitting here singing the Growing Pains theme song, sobbing. Sigh. #AlanThicke— Jen (@YellowMustard19) December 14, 2016
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