TV Dad Alan Thicke Is Dead at 69
His big role was on 'Growing Pains'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 13, 2016 8:36 PM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2016 12:30 AM CST

(Newser) – TV's Alan Thicke, who first gained US fame as the dad on the sitcom Growing Pains in the 1980s, has died at age 69 of a heart attack. The publicist for his son, pop singer Robin Thicke, confirmed the news to the Los Angeles Times. In addition to his acting, Thicke was both a songwriter—he penned the theme songs for Growing Pains and Diff'rent Strokes, among others—and a producer. The Canadian-born Thicke was a big hockey enthusiast, and TMZ reports that he suffered the heart attack while playing with his son, Carter. Thicke had most recently appeared in the Full House reboot Fuller House.

Before his sitcom fame, Thicke hosted a talk show called Thicke of the Night in 1983, but it lasted just nine months, notes the Hollywood Reporter. Growing Pains came along in 1985 and went on to last seven seasons. Thicke played psychiatrist Jason Seaver, with Kirk Cameron playing one of his kids. (THR adds this bit of trivia: A young Leo DiCaprio starred in the final season as a homeless teen who moves in with the family.) "I share the corny family values espoused on the show," Thicke once said of the sitcom.

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