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Legendary TV dad Alan Thicke passed away very suddenly earlier this week due to a heart attack. The Growing Pains patriarch was a sitcom icon during the seven seasons the show was on the air, and his Growing Pains co-star Kirk Cameron made an appearance on The Today Show this week to share what he'll most cherish and remember from his friendship with his TV dad. Cameron had this to say about Alan Thicke:
Alan was... a seasoned dad through and through. He was always available on set and off to talk with me, to listen and understand, calm my teenage nerves and even share my excitement when something great happened... just like a good dad.
Kirk Cameron was merely 14 years-old when he landed the part of Mike Seaver on Growing Pains and met Alan Thicke. Cameron was already a fairly experienced child actor by the time he started work on Growing Pains, but most of his jobs were one-off guest shots and TV movies. Growing Pains in 1985 was his big break, and it sounds like he had a lot of help from Alan Thicke when it came to showbiz. Thicke already had a great deal of experience on the small screen, including having appeared as the host of two talk shows. Kirk Cameron's reveal to Today proves that Alan Thicke was as great a father figure off-screen as he seemed in the show.
Alan Thicke's death appears to have come as a major shock to those who knew and loved him. He was only 69 at the time of his passing, and he had been playing hockey with his son when he suffered his heart attack. Robin Thicke posted a touching farewell to his father on Instagram, and celebrities have taken to Twitter to express their condolences. Kirk Cameron's remembrance of his time with Alan Thicke has to be one of the most endearing and heartwarming that has come out of the tragedy.
Kirk Cameron hasn't had much to do in showbiz in recent years. He landed his own series - appropriately titled Kirk - a few years after Growing Pains came to an end, but his most infamous project since Growing Pains is almost certainly Saving Christmas, which won Razzie awards for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, and Worst Screen Combo in 2014. The movie was ranked as the worst of all-time on IMDb, and Cameron's attempts to use social media to boost the movie's Rotten Tomatoes score were not successful. Saving Christmas was his most recent major project, although he was also in Fireproof a few years ago.
Hopefully Kirk Cameron will be remembered more fondly now for his kind words in the wake of Alan Thicke's death than for Saving Christmas. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what will hit the airwaves on the small screen in the not-too-distant future.