Remembering “Growing Pains” Star Alan Thicke

Last night, Growing Pains star Alan Thicke died at the age of 69 in Los Angeles. Although he was best associated with the 1985-92 sitcom that made him a household name in America, he had a decades-spanning career in which he wrote TV themes (including those for Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and Wheel of Fortune) and served as a writer for the cult comedy series/Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman spinoff Fernwood 2 Night. Thicke began his career in the 1970s in his native Canada, hosting game shows and talk shows. After his work on Fernwood 2 Night he starred in an infamously short-lived late night show called Thicke of the Night, which established him as a genial and charming presence on TV. Shortly after that show’s cancellation, he got the role of therapist Jason Seaver on Growing Pains, and became one of the most beloved TV dads in history. In the years since Growing Pains went off the air, Thicke — whose son is “Blurred Lines” hitmaker Robin Thicke — has been a regular presence on television both in America and in Canada. Throughout the entirety of his career he always seemed to be having a good time (just check out this jaw-dropping performance from the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship)and truly appreciative of his fans. In a year that has already seen so many beloved stars pass away, there is comfort to be found in the fact that the entertainment left behind by 2016’s lost will live forever. R.I.P. Alan Thicke, we won’t see the likes of you again anytime soon.