Canadian actor Alan Thicke, best known for his leading role in the 1980s family sitcom “Growing Pains” and as the father of R&B singer Robin Thicke, died on Tuesday, his spokeswoman said. He was 69.
“Alan’s sudden passing has been confirmed. At present, we have no further details,” Monique Moss said in a brief email.
A source close to the family told Reuters by telephone that Thicke suffered a heart attack and was transported to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, where he was pronounced dead.
Grammy award nominated-singer Robin Thicke told the Los Angeles Times newspaper that his father was playing hockey with another of his sons, 19-year-old Carter Thicke, when he suffered the heart attack.
“I saw him a few days ago and told him how much I loved and respected him,” Thicke told the newspaper, adding that his father was an inspiration for his own musical career. “The good thing was that he was beloved and he had closure.”
Alan Thicke was beloved by many fans for his role as psychiatrist and father Jason Seaver in ABC’s “Growing Pains,” which ran from 1985 to 1992. Thicke’s work in the show earned him a nomination for a Golden Globe for the best performance by an actor in a television series in 1988.
Thicke was also a popular host for television events, including the Emmy Awards, and a prolific composer of television theme songs, among which was the theme for Wheel of Fortune, his website said.
Thicke also appeared in an array of television shows, including “The Outer Limits,” “Murder She Wrote,” and “Married with Children,” according to IMDB. More recently, Thicke was set to appear in “Fuller House,” a remake of the popular 1990s family sitcom produced by Netflix.
“Season 2 Fuller House looking good. I even like the ones I’m not in!” Thicke said in a tweet earlier on Tuesday.
His death was quickly mourned on social media.
“America loved Alan Thicke. I’m so sad he’s gone. Sending so much love to his family,” comedian Ellen DeGeneres said in a tweet.
The National Hockey League tweeted: “The NHL family is sad to learn of the passing of longtime hockey fan Alan Thicke.”
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)