His agent Tracy Mapes of Imperium 7 Talent Agency confirmed the news, but did not provide any details about the cause of death. “Today the world lost an amazing talent,” she stated. Other sources are reporting that Thicke suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons.
Thicke’s ex-wife, performer Gloria Loring, also expressed her sorrow in a statement on Facebook. “Dear Friends,” she wrote, “Thank you for your kindness concerning Alan Thicke’s passing. It is a shock. We were all just together for Thanksgiving. He was talented, funny and deeply devoted to his family. Rest In Peace, dear one.” The responses from fans on the post were overwhelming.
Alan Thicke was married two additional times after he divorced Loring in 1984. He had two children with Loring, one of whom, Robin Thicke, has earned fame in his own right. He later married Gina Tolleson and had a son with her before they, too, divorced in 1999. Later that year, he met model Tanya Callau, whom he married in 1995. The remained married until his death.
Alan Thicke’s career has spanned nearly 50 years. He made his television debut in 1969 on the series It’s Our Stuff, and by 1984 was a regular on the popular show The Love Boat. However, most young adults remember him as the father of Kirk Cameron on Growing Pains, where he epitomized the role of a sitcom dad.
“Loved it. Proud of it. Proud of what it stood for,” Thicke stated in an interview several years back. “It was a great opportunity that made my life good and something I can show to my 12-year-old now in reruns. Corny and dated as it is, it’s still relatable, understandable, and he can look at it and say, ‘Yeah, I get it. Now I see what you did before I was born.'”
He added, “So if that’s what goes on my tombstone, I’m perfectly comfortable with it.”
Fans all around the world thank Alan Thicke for giving us such an iconic character to grow up with.