TV icon Alan Thicke has died at the age of 69, leaving behind a legacy of beloved shows.
Thicke died Tuesday after having a heart attack while playing hockey with one his sons, Carter. The 69-year-old was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. where he was pronounced dead, as reported by TMZ and later confirmed by his publicist.
The TV legend was known for playing father Jason Seaver on sitcom Growing Pains and also for composing the theme songs for Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, and numerous game shows, including the original theme to Wheel of Fortune. He was also a prominent talk show host through the '80s.
Thicke is survived by his wife, Tanya Callau, and three sons, Robin, Brennan and Carter. The multi-hyphenate was married three times, to Gloria Loring from 1970-84, to Gina Tolleson from 1994-99 and to Callau from 2005 to his death.
Robin, who has gone on to great success himself, spoke of his father in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, calling him "the greatest man I ever met," adding that he was "always a gentleman."
While Alan's death was sudden, Robin did get to tell him a few days previously that he loved him.
"I saw him a few days ago and told him how much I loved and respected him," he said.
Carter also posted a touching message on his Instagram page:
Today I lost my best friend and my idol, and the world lost one of it's finest. I have never known a more kind, loving, hairy, and generous person in my life and I am forever grateful for the light that this man brought to my life and so many others. You will be missed every second of every day. You are a legend and I love you Pops. Until next time.
A photo posted by Carter Thicke (@carter_thicke) on Dec 13, 2016 at 8:42pm PST
Meanwhile, Loring spoke kindly of her ex-husband in an interview with Us Weekly.
"Thank you for your kindness concerning Alan Thicke's passing. It is a shock. We were all just together for Thanksgiving," she said. "He was talented, funny and deeply devoted to his family. Rest In Peace, dear one."
News of Thicke's passing shocked and saddened the entertainment community. Messages and tweets began pouring in from celebrities:
America loved Alan Thicke. I'm so sad he's gone. Sending so much love to his family.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 14, 2016
RIP Alan Thicke. I grew up watching him and got to know him through Robin. He was always so kind to me. So sad to hear about his passing.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) December 14, 2016
Now Alan Thicke...
Can we get a do-over on 2016? Too many good people lost and way too many bad people getting lucky...
RIP Dr. Seaver
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) December 14, 2016
Alan Thicke was one of the nicest guys in our business. And he LOVED his family. And hockey. A shocking, sad loss.
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 14, 2016
Just heard of #AlanThicke's passing. 1st job in LA was as an intern for him... He was a very nice boss. Sending good thoughts to his family.
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) December 14, 2016
.@Alan_Thicke was always so gracious & kind to me. A very very cool guy. Rest In Peace my friend. God bless this great Canadian!
— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) December 14, 2016
I'm sad beyond words that Alan Thicke has passed away. I've known you since I was 8 years old… https://t.co/GLXSTK1nd7
— Candace Cameron Bure (@candacecbure) December 14, 2016
RIP to my brother Alan Thicke. The world has lost an icon. pic.twitter.com/zIK0hzjihK
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) December 14, 2016
So sad is the passing of Alan Thicke. Such a good husband, father, brother, and friend. He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace dear Alan.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) December 14, 2016