Canadian actor and icon Alan Thicke has died at the age of 69, Entertainment Tonight has confirmed.
TMZ first reported Tuesday night that Thicke was playing hockey with his son Carter when he had a heart attack. Thicke was most recognized for his work as Jason Seaver on ’80s-’90s family sitcom Growing Pains.
READ MORE: 10 things you didn’t know about Alan Thicke
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 1947, Thicke’s show-business career began on Canadian television, hosting a Montreal-based talk show called First Impressions in the 1970s, and later became a daytime staple in Canadian households as host of The Alan Thicke Show.
As ET Canada notes, 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 axed after a short run.
Then came Growing Pains, where Thicke played lovable dad Jason Seaver. Seaver was a psychiatrist raising his children along with his wife, played by Joanna Kerns. Seaver’s oldest son, Mike, played by Kirk Cameron, was a constant source of trouble for the family. Thicke starred on the popular show from 1985 to 1992.
Post-Growing Pains, Thicke still managed to maintain his lovable and charismatic persona in the public eye, often appearing as host of events like the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. He had guest roles on multiple TV shows, including How I Met Your Mother, The Bold and the Beautiful and Just Shoot Me.
Condolences started pouring in on Twitter at the news.
America loved Alan Thicke. I'm so sad he's gone. Sending so much love to his family.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 14, 2016
So sad to hear Alan Thicke passed away. A genuinely kind man whose face would light up when he talked about hockey. Love to his family. RIP.
— Allie Mac Kay (@alliemackay) December 14, 2016
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.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) December 14, 2016
RIP Alan Thicke, one of the best things Canada has ever given the US.
— Ted Mosby (@TylerPinklinger) December 14, 2016
RIP Alan Thicke. He had one of the great speaking voices EVER.
— Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1) December 14, 2016
— Mindy Cohn (@MindyCohn) December 14, 2016
I'm so sad to hear about the passing of Alan Thicke. RIP Alan. 😢
— Lori Loughlin (@LoriLoughlin) December 14, 2016
Alan Thicke was always the nicest and happiest person in the room. Gone way too soon. Rest In Peace.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 14, 2016
— Paula Patton (@PaulaPattonXO) December 14, 2016
Over the course of his career, Thicke was nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe and a Daytime Emmy. In 2013, he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Not one to stick just to acting, Thicke also found time to write two books: How Men Have Babies: The Pregnant Father’s Survival Guide and How To Raise Kids Who Won’t Hate You. The two reads offered humorous takes on what it’s like to be a divorced parent.
“Have you done all you can to save the marriage? This is your child’s only chance at the ideal family unit, and his life will never be the same afterwards, so be very sure before you pull the plug and consign him to a lifetime of divided loyalties and split schedules,” he wrote.
Another one of his hidden talents was composing theme songs. For years, he worked with his former wife Gloria Loring to create the catchy tunes that played at the beginning of shows like Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. In fact, at the time of his passing, he had dozens of musical credits to his name.
Most recently, Thicke could be seen making guest appearances on a variety of popular television shows, including Scream Queens, This Is Us and Fuller House.
ET Canada spoke to Thicke at the recent Whistler Film Festival, and spoke 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.”
The actor leaves behind his wife, Tanya, and three children.