Alan Thicke, 'Growing Pains' Star, Dead at 69

Andrew Chin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Actor Alan Thicke, best-known for his starring role in the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, has died at age 69.

Thicke’s publicist confirmed his death to ABC News.  A representative for Thicke’s son, “Blurred Lines” singer Robin Thicke, says Alan died of a heart attack Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Born in Canada, Thicke enjoyed a successful career as a writer, producer and game show host in the 1970s and early 1980s.  He’s best-remembered in the U.S. for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Jason Seaver in the family sitcom Growing Pains, which aired in ABC for seven seasons, from 1985 to 1992.  The show also starred a very young Leonardo DiCaprio in a recurring role.

Celebrity reaction to Thicke’s passing was immediate.  Among them:  Bob Saget called Thicke “Such a good husband, father, brother, and friend. He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace dear Alan.”

Alyssa Milano, who got her start starring in the 1980s sitcom Who’s the Boss?, said Thicke was “always the nicest and happiest person in the room.  Gone way too soon.”

Actress Paula Patton, ex-wife of Robin Thicke, responded with a poem attributed to Mother Theresa that speaks to life’s challenges.

Thicke also composed more than a few television theme songs, including for the sitcoms Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.  He wrote TV game show themes as well, including the original Wheel of Fortune theme.

Thicke was also known for hosting TV variety broadcasts.  Most recently, he was the television spokesperson for Optima Tax Relief.

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