Alan Thicke has passed away, with a rep for the Canadian TV icon confirming the sad news to ET Canada. He was 69.
While details of Thicke’s passing are not entirely known, the actor’s son Robin Thicke confirmed to The LA Times his dad was playing hockey with his younger son Carter, 19, when he suffered a fatal heart attack on Tuesday.
Later Tuesday night, Carter posted a moving tribute to his father on Twitter:
In a statement to The LA Times newspaper on Tuesday night, Robin said his father was “the greatest man I ever met” and “always a gentleman.” The “Blurred Lines” singer also revealed one of the last things his dad said was a compliment to his teen son on making a “nice shot.”
“The good thing was that he was beloved and he had closure,” added Robin. “I saw him a few days ago and told him how much I loved and respected him.”
“Law enforcement sources tell us … a company that recovers organs was contacted, so some of Thicke’s organs could be donated,” reports TMZ, adding that Thicke and his son were on the ice at a Burbank rink at approximately 11 a.m. when he began having chest pains and then became nauseous.
Burbank fire department officials have confirmed to ET that at noon today they received a call from the Pickwick rink to transport a male needing medical assistance to the Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. Upon arriving at the hospital, Thicke was pronounced dead.
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 1947, Thicke’s show-business career began on Canadian television, working with the CBC and eventually hosting a Montreal-based talk show called “First Impressions” in the 1970s. He later became a daytime staple in Canadian households as host of “The Alan Thicke Show”.
It wasn’t long before Hollywood beckoned, with Thicke hired by legendary TV producer Norman Lear to head the writing staff of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” spinoff “Fernwood 2-Night”, and eventually landed his own late-night talk show in the early 1980s, “Thicke of the Night”, which was cancelled after a short run.
Greater success awaited, however, when Thicke was cast in the lead role of ABC family sitcom “Growing Pains”, which enjoyed a hit run from 1985 until 1992.
Thicke was also a composer, and wrote the theme songs for a number of TV series, including the themes for “Diff’rent Strokes” (which he co-wrote with then-wife Gloria Loring) and “The Facts of Life”.
Thicke is survived by wife Tanya and sons Brennan, Robin and Carter.
ET Canada spoke to Thicke at the recent Whistler Film Festival where he talked about the pride he felt about being Canadian.
“I love anything that comes from my home and native land and wherever I go there’s a few things you always hear. ‘Fellow Canadian,’ that always lights me up,” he said. “That one expression that we all seem to use and I hear a lot… and I like that they seem to say it with a sense of pride and that I haven’t shamed them.”
Thicke’s ex-wife, soap opera actress Gloria Loring, shared her condolences in a touching Facebook post: