TV Icon Alan Thicke Has Died at 69
Alan Thicke, the Canadian actor, TV host, and theme song composer known for playing the patriarch of the Seaver family on the ’80s sitcom Growing Pains, died Tuesday at age 69.
According to TMZ, which first reported the news, Thicke suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his son and was taken to a Los Angeles area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Thicke made his mark as one of television’s quintessential father figures on Growing Pains, which ran from 1985 to 1992 on ABC. He portrayed Jason Seaver, a good-natured psychiatrist and loving dad, starring alongside Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, and Ashley Johnson. A young Leonardo DiCaprio joined the cast as an abandoned teen taken in by the Seavers in the show’s seventh and final season.
A native of Ontario, Thicke began his show business career as a writer, producer, and TV personality in the 1970s and early ’80s, with credits including the parody talk show Fernwood 2 Night, the game show First Impressions, and the (actual) talk shows The Alan Thicke Show and Thicke of the Night.
In addition to his work in front of and behind the camera, Thicke was an accomplished songwriter who created the theme music for several popular television programs, including Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, and Wheel of Fortune. One of his three sons, the recording artist Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”), has followed in his musical footsteps.