LOS ANGELES: Tributes are pouring in for Alan Thicke, the Kirkland Lake, ON-born songwriting TV actor and personality who passed away suddenly on Tuesday in California.
While friends and colleagues mourn and praise the man who was probably best known to the public as Jason Seaver, patriarch of the hit seven-season ABC TV family sitcom Growing Pains, the diverse contributors who tweeted, Instagrammed, Facebooked and expressed their sympathies reveal how widely respected and beloved Thicke was in many fields, even those outside his purview.
Upon closer examination, Alan Thicke was just as influential as a writer who victoriously tackled a number of genres. Attending London's Western University, he became an all-night DJ for AM890 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and wrote copy for CFPO host Bill Brady in 1967. Thicke also was a writer for The Tommy Hunter Show and later for the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, where Anne Murray first met him, later hiring him to write and produce many of her TV specials. He hosted a couple of TV talk shows - The Alan Thicke Show in Canada and Thicke of the Night in the US - which unwisely tried to usurp Johnny Carson's Tonight Show and lasted only nine months before the plug was pulled - but his resiliency and tireless work ethic always seemed to serve him well.
Thicke's influence extended into the sports world as well, with Toronto Blue Jays' World Series home-run hitter Joe Carter revealing that the actor named his son Carter after the athlete, and the Toronto Star suggesting that Thicke became a mentor to Wayne Gretzky, helped facilitate the relationship between him and future wife Janet Jones, and even helped land The Great One with the NHL's Los Angeles Kings after his fateful trade from the Edmonton Oilers.
Alan Thicke, whose accomplishments are too many to be listed here, kept busy to the end, with recent appearances on Fuller House - the Netflix revival of Full House - and the new hit NBC series This Is Us - suggesting that his career was heating up again.
Quotes and memoriams below are offered first from his family, followed by his TV family, and friends and colleagues. The Joe Carter quotes are compounded from two Tweets from the athlete, and the Anne Murray tribute is a combined Tweet and a quote from an interview she did with the Globe and Mail.
Robin Thicke: “My father passed away today. He was the best man I ever knew. The best friend I ever had. Let’s all rejoice and celebrate the joy he brought to every room he was in. We love you Alan Thicke. Thank you for your love. Love, your grateful son.”
Carter Thicke: “Today I lost my best friend and my idol, and the world lost one of its finest. You are a legend and I love you pops. Until next time.”
From his Growing Pains castmates:
Leonardo DiCaprio: “Alan was a devoted father, husband, friend and role model. He knew how to harness the power of the entertainment industry to be a positive influence in so many lives – including mine. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work with Alan early in my career. He had tremendous class, a huge heart, and he taught me and so many others the valuable lessons about humility and gratitude. I’ve seen him a number of times over the years and when Alan Thicke walked in the room, quite frankly, no one was cooler. I miss him already – my thoughts and prayers are with the entire Thicke family during this difficult time.”
Joanna Kerns: “Alan made me laugh everyday — usually at myself. Love you dearly RIP old friend.”
Kirk Cameron: “I spent Monday through Friday for seven important years with Alan Thicke as my ‘TV dad.’ I’m shocked and truly heartbroken today at the news of his death. Alan was a generous, kind and loving man. I am so blessed to have grown up with him. Chelsea and I send our love and prayers to his family tonight. We will cherish the memories… ‘sharing the laughter and love.'”
Tracey Gold: “I just can’t find the words right now.”
From other dignitaries:
PM Justin Trudeau: "Alan Thicke was proudly Canadian, never forgetting his roots as he soared to stardom. My deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Joe Carter: "My heart aches right now. My good buddy Alan Thicke has passed away. Can't believe it. Can't believe it...Alan even named his youngest son after me, Carter Thicke. Tonya, Carter, Robin my prayers are with you all."
Anne Murray: "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.......He was one of the most talented people I ever met. He was quick-witted, and the stuff would just come off the top of his head.”
Bob Saget: : "So sad is the passing of Alan Thicke. Such a good husband, father, brother, and friend. He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace dear Alan."
Dave Coulier: "RIP Alan Thicke. We skated side-by-side for years. Say hello to Gordie and The Rocket for me."
Ellen DeGeneres: "America loved Alan Thicke. I'm so sad he's gone. Sending so much love to his family."
Alyssa Milano: "Alan Thicke was always the nicest and happiest person in the room. Gone way too soon. Rest In Peace."
Larry King: "So sorry to hear of the passing of Alan Thicke. A wonderful talent, a wonderful man."
Demi Lovato: "Had the pleasure of meeting Alan Thicke and his amazing wife Tanya a few years back.. my thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP"
Justin Hartley: "When you meet one of your idols and they are even nicer and cooler than you hoped they would be. That was @Alan_Thicke. Rest in peace."
Rob Lowe: "Alan Thicke was one of the nicest guys in our business. And he LOVED his family. And hockey. A shocking, sad loss."
Jason Alexander: "Had the pleasure of working with Alan Thicke. Spoke to him just last week. Can't believe he has left us. A lovely man."
LeVar Burton: "Alan Thicke LOVED hockey! He also was a man with a huge heart. He was on the ice when his heart attacked him. RIP Alan..."
Minnie Driver: "Dear, kind, funny gorgeous generous Alan. Loved you, loved all the holidays we all went on. Will miss you so greatly."
Russell Simmons: "RIP to my brother Alan Thicke. The world has lost an icon."
Howie Mandel: "I’m shocked to hear about Alan Thicke. He was a good man who gave me some big breaks in my early days. I’ll miss you buddy.”
William Shatner: “Saddened over the loss of my friend Alan. Condolences to his family.”
Ross Perlmutter: "Bummed to hear about Alan Thicke dying during a hockey game. I once played hockey with him during a celebrity pickup game in L.A, and he was a really nice, funny guy. (His wrist shot wasn't bad either.")