To television fans around the world, Alan Thicke was best known for his role as Dr. Jason Seaver on the hit ’80s show “Growing Pains.” Thicke’s life and career, however, run much deeper than that — with Thicke wearing many hats as a comedy writer, songwriter, hockey fan and more. He’s even the father of a pretty famous musician. (Robin Thicke, in case you were wondering.) As we mourn the loss of this cultural icon, here are five things you probably didn’t know about Alan Thicke.
While Alan Thicke starred in one of the most popular American TV shows of the ’80s, “Growing Pains,” he actually was from Canada originally and in 2013, was added to the Canadian Walk of Fame.
He’s been nominated for an Emmy twice…for writing!
In the early days of his career, he was highly sought after as a writer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC). Soon, he was hired by Norman Lear (“All in the Family”) to be the head writer for the daily talk show, “Fernwood Tonight.”
He wrote some pretty big television theme songs.
Remember “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes?” Are the theme songs stuck in your head still? Yup. That’s thanks to Alan Thicke, who wrote them with his first wife, Gloria Loring.
He was known as “the affordable Shatner.”
Thicke kept himself busy with hosting gigs — for television shows, parties, you name it, and has even called himself “the affordable Shatner.” In the ’80s, he co-hosted the annual Disney Christmas parade with Joan Lunden.
He starred in the pilot episode of “This is Us.”
Alan Thicke appeared as himself on the pilot episode of the hit NBC show “This is Us,” starring alongside Justin Hartley as The Manny’s dad. (Alan Thicke playing himself playing the Manny’s dad. It’s a bit meta.) Creator Dan Fogelman paid tribute to Thicke on Twitter.