- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TV star Alan Thicke, who became an 80s icon with his role as the patriarch on “Growing Pains,” died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack, according to multiple news outlets.

The celebrity-news site TMZ first reported, citing “law-enforcement sources,” that the 69-year-old actor and songwriter suffered the fatal cardiac arrest while playing hockey with his son Carter, 19.

Alan played hockey regularly at a rink in Burbank. We’re told he and Carter were on the ice around 11 AM when he started having chest pain, then got nauseous and vomited. The ambulance picked him up around 11:30,” TMZ wrote.

He was rushed to Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, California, and declared dead Tuesday afternoon.

ABC News and the Los Angeles Times each later reported that the death was confirmed by a publicist.

“I’m sad beyond words that Alan Thicke has passed away. I’ve known you since I was 8 years old and so glad I had the pleasure of working with you again so recently on Fuller House. You were a part of my family and hockey family. You will be greatly missed. ❤️ My heart hurts,” actress Candace Cameron Bure posted on Instagram.

Added Ellen Degeneres: “America loved Alan Thicke. I’m so sad he’s gone. Sending so much love to his family.” And fellow 80s sitcom-dad Bob Saget tweeted: “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.”

The Canadian-born Mr. Thicke had success there as a game-show and talk-show host in the 1970s and first hit U.S. TV screens in 1983 with the syndicated late-night show “Thicke of the Night.”

But his career really took off with the 1985 debut of “Growing Pains,” one of that era’s family sitcoms, in which he played psychiatrist-dad Jason Seaver. Mr. Thicke was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role.

The show ran seven seasons, and later spawned two TV reunion movies. Among the stars it birthed were Kirk Cameron as son Mike and Leonardo DiCaprio as an adopted homeless teen in the last season.

His other principal showbiz contribution was his work as a TV-theme composer, often in collaboration with then-wife Gloria Loring. The pair wrote the iconic theme songs to “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”

His latest project was a Netflix reboot of a different famous 1980s sitcom — “Fuller House,” which had just released its second season.

Indeed, Mr. Thicke’s last public words were a Twitter shout-out to that show, a post that Twitter’s time-stamp suggested was posted after his death but before the news broke, likely by a publicist or as a pre-scheduled tweet.

“Season 2 Fuller House looking good. I even like the ones I’m not in! #fullerhouse @fullhouseguy @bobsaget @candacecbure #netflix,” he wrote.

He is survived by his third wife Tanya, and his three sons, Carter, Brennan and Robin — the last of whom is a chart-topping pop-music star.

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