TV icon Alan Thicke, who endeared himself to audiences through his role as the father on the ABC sitcom “Growing Pains,” died on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his son.
He was 69.
Thicke’s son Robin told the Los Angeles Times that his father had a heart attack while playing with another son, Carter. TMZ, which first reported the news, said that Thicke was pronounced dead at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, California.
Thicke’s agent Tracy Mapes confirmed his death to The Huffington Post.
“He was charming, witty, talented, an icon,” Mapes said in a statement. “I was so blessed to have him in my life. Today is a very sad day.”
In addition to his most well-known role as dad Jason Seaver on the 1980s hit “Growing Pains,” Thicke hosted game and talk shows, and wrote theme songs for shows including “Diff’rent Strokes” and “Wheel of Fortune.”
Thicke received three Emmy nominations for his writing on Barry Manilow’s talk show in the 1970s, and another for his work on “America 2-Night,” The Associated Press reported.
The actor, who was born in Ontario, Canada, started his career with a daytime talk show in Canada, and later hosted a late-night show called “Thicke of the Night” for an American audience, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Growing Pains” aired for seven seasons on ABC, reaching as high as the No. 5 show in the ratings, THR reported.
A tweet was sent from Thicke’s account earlier Tuesday, promoting the second season of the Netflix series “Fuller House,” in which he was guest starring.
Thicke was a lifelong hockey fan, first rooting for the Montreal Canadiens and then the Los Angeles Kings after moving to California. He was a familiar face at NHL events over his life, performing at the league’s award ceremony and also playing in a 2014 Celebrity Game, Yahoo reported.
Thicke was even the emcee at the wedding of his friend and hockey great Wayne Gretzky in 1988.
“Alan was a mentor. He really guided me as far as things I did away from hockey, whether it was hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ or being a special guest on Canadian TV shows,” Gretzky told Grantland in 2014.
The NHL sent its condolences to Thicke’s loved ones on Tuesday night:
An Instagram photo posted in 2015 showed Thicke on the ice with his son Carter, according to TMZ.
Thicke is survived by his wife, Tanya, and sons Carter, Robin and Brennan.
Stars tweeted remembrances of the beloved actor following the news of his death: