Alan Thicke, America’s Favorite Canadian Dad

On Tuesday, TV personality Alan Thicke passed away at the age of 69. He died from a heart attack while playing ice hockey with son Carter. Thicke was best known for his role as in the classic 80s sitcom, Growing Pains, but his talents were widespread, from hosting talk shows, songwriting, pageant-hosting, and being father to a massive pop star, Robin Thicke.

Despite playing the all-American father on Growing Pains, Thicke was actually a Canadian and his career began up north. Thicke hosted a number of Canadian TV game shows and then later hosted his own talk show in the early 1980s called The Alan Thicke Show. However, he didn’t rise to international stardom until he starred in Growing Pains, which debuted on ABC in 1985 and ran until 1992.

Alan Thicke played the patriarch of the family, Jason Seaver. Thicke portrayed Seaver as a calm, collected and cheesy dad, typical of other sitcoms of the time. Always quick with advice and reassurance, Jason Seaver was a devoted father and psychiatrist who moved his practice to his home to be closer to his family.

Growing Pains helped launch Thicke’s career along with Kirk Cameron, who played Thicke’s eldest son. The show also guest starred a number of now-famous actors – including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew Perry, Brad Pitt, Hillary Swank, and more.

And as is usually the case, with stardom comes the advertising gigs. In the early 1990s, the Canadian division of Woolco hired Thicke as its spokesman to compare prices of items in their stores with other department stores.

And most recently, Thicke was the spokesman for Optima Tax Relief, a company helping you deal with tax issues and the IRS.

And who remembers when Thicke hosted the 1988 National Aerobic Championship? You can certainly see where son Robin got his performing chops.

While Thicke called the US home in recent years, he never forgot his birthplace – he still retained his Canadian citizenship and his love of ice hockey. His ex-wife Gloria Loring recently said in a statement, “He died the way any good Canadian should — playing hockey with his son.”

 

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