Alan Thicke, the actor, talk show host and composer known for his turn as the Seaver family patriarch on the sitcom Growing Pains, died of a heart attack Tuesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 69.
Thicke reportedly suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons. He was taken to a Los Angeles area hospital where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife Tanya and sons Brennan, Carter and the pop star Robin Thicke.
Growing Pains ran for seven seasons on ABC between 1985 and 1992 and was a regular ratings hit, but by that point Thicke had established himself as a multi-talented performer, writer and composer.
During the late Seventies, Thicke hosted the game show First Impressions in his native Canada, but primarily worked as a writer on a variety of programs including the family sitcom The Paul Lynde Show, Norman Lear’s talk show parody, Fernwood 2 Night and even a few episodes of The Richard Pryor Show. In 1980, he was tapped to host his own daytime talk show in Canada, The Alan Thicke Show, which ran until 1983 when the actor scored a late-night program in the U.S., Thicke of the Night. The show, however, was unable to compete with Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and was canceled within a year.
Following the success of Growing Pains, Thicke spent the next several decades working as a host and character actor. He helmed beauty pageants and game shows while appearing in movies and various TV shows like How I Met Your Mother, the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful and, most recently, Netflix’s Fuller House. In 2014, he starred in his own reality series, Unusually Thicke.
Throughout his career, Thicke also worked as a successful composer, penning the theme songs for hit sitcoms like Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life with his then-wife, Gloria Loring. Thicke also composed themes for a variety of game shows, including the original Wheel of Fortune tune, and made a brief foray into pop when he co-wrote “Sara,” a minor hit for Bill Champlin.