Actor Alan Thicke has died at the age of 69. Thicke, known for his role as the likable father on the ABC television series Growing Pains, died from a heart attack on Tuesday. His son, Grammy award nominated-singer Robin Thicke paid tribute to him on Tuesday evening, calling him the ‘greatest man I ever met’ and ‘always a gentleman.’ Robin Thicke told The Los Angeles Times his father was playing hockey with his brother, 19-year-old Carter, when he suffered a heart attack. Alan Thicke and Carter had reportedly been at the Pickwick Ice skating rink in Burbank at the time.
Thicke was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada, the son of Shirley “Joan” Isobel Marie (née Greer), a nurse, and William Jeffery, a stockbroker. They divorced in 1953. His mother remarried to Brian Thicke, a physician, and they moved to Elliot Lake. Thicke hosted a Canadian game show on CFCF-TV in Montreal called First Impressions in the late 1970s and the Saturday morning celebrity game show Animal Crack-Ups in the late 1980s. In 1997, he hosted a television version of the board game Pictionary. In the early 2000s, he hosted the All New 3’s a Crowd on the Game Show Network. Thicke had a successful career as a TV theme song composer, often collaborating with his then-wife Gloria Loring on these projects, which included the themes to the popular sitcoms Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. Thicke played Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist and father, on the family sitcom Growing Pains. When the show began, Jason was moving his psychiatry practice into the home to be closer to the family’s children while the family matriarch Maggie, played by Joanna Kerns, resumed her career as a reporter. Growing Pains debuted on ABC in 1985 and ran until 1992.
Thicke was married three times: His first marriage, to Days of Our Lives actress Gloria Loring, lasted from 1970 until around 1984; they had two sons, Brennan and Robin. He started dating actress Kristy Swanson when she was 17 years old in 1986 and got engaged to her two years later when he was 42. He married his second wife, Miss World 1990 Gina Tolleson, on August 13, 1994, and had a son, Carter William Thicke, before their divorce was finalized on September 29, 1999. In 1999, he met Tanya Callau in Miami, where he was a celebrity host and she was a model. They were married from 2005 until his death.