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It's safe to say that 2016 has been a terrible year, especially when it comes to celebrity deaths. In the TV world alone, the tragic passings have ranged from director Garry Marshall to NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg to The Green Hornet star Van Williams. Sadly, even with only a few more weeks remaining in the year, we have to add one more name to the list, as Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke passed away today. He was 69 years old.
TMZ first reported that Alan Thicke suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19-year-old son Carter. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, California. The Hollywood Reporter soon confirmed with Thicke's publicist that the actor had indeed passed away, though the cause of death was not disclosed. He is survived by his wife Tanya, and his three sons: Carter, Brennan and singer Robin.
Alan Thicke is best know for playing Jason Seaver in the ABC series Growing Pains. Playing the role from 1985 to 1992, he cemented himself as one of the most prominent TV dads in '80s sitcom history. Thicke's Seaver was a psychiatrist who worked from home after his wife returned to work as a reporter. Before starring on Growing Pains, Thicke starred on his own talk show in Canada, appropriately titled The Alan Thicke Show, and that later paved the way for his talk show in the United States, Thicke of the Night. He also had a successful career as a theme song composer, notably writing the themes for The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes with his then-wife Gloria Loring and producer Al Burton.
Following Growing Pains' conclusion, Alan Thicke primarily stuck to television work, although he did make an appearance in the 2006 crime drama Alpha Dog. His recurring/guest appearances over the years included Married... with Children, 7th Heaven, The Bold and the Beautiful and America Dad! His last TV appearances were playing himself in the Fuller House Season episode "Mom Interference" and the This Is Us pilot. Of course, if you're a How I Met You Mother fan like I am, you probably know Thicke best for his shared history with main character Robin Scherbatsky back when she was a singer and actor. Here's one of their moments together on the fictional kids show Space Teens.
We at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to Alan Thicke's family and friends in their time of mourning. If you were a fan of Alan Thicke's, be it from Growing Pains or one of his other projects, let us know in the comments below.