Thursday, December 29, 2016

Obituary: Alan Thicke

Allan Willis Thicke was born 1 March 1947 as the son of William Jeffrey and Shirley "Joan" Isobel Marie Jeffrey {Source}. He was the stepson of Brian Thicke, who he would later take his last name{Source}. He has a half brother, Todd {Source}.

He graduated from Elliot Lake Secondary School in 1965,[4] and where he was elected homecoming king.{Source}. After graduation, he went on to attend the University of Western Ontario, where he joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity {Source}

He has been married several times. His first marriage was to Gloria Loring from 1970-1984, she is the mother of singer Robin Thicke and Brian Thicke{Source}.  His second marriage was to  Gina Marie Tolleson, from 1994-1999 and he has a son with her, Carter {Source}.

He began his television career as a game show host on Canadian television. In the late 1970s and into the 1980s,  he hosted a show called First Impressions and a celebrity game show called Animal Crack-Ups {Source}. In 1997, he hosted a television version of  Pictionary{Source}. In the early 2000s, he hosted the All-New 3's a Crowd {Source}.

He was also active on the talk-show scene. In the late 1970s, he was a frequent guest host of The Alan Hamel Show  on Canadian TV. He was hired by Norman Lear to produce and as head writer of the show Fernwood 2 Night {Source}. In the early 1980s, Thicke would get his own talk show, The Alan Thicke Show, which eventually spawned a prime-time spin off, Prime Cuts, which later led to an American syndicated late-night talk show, Thicke at Night {Source}. From 1983-1990, he was a co-host of the Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Parade (now known as  the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade). He hosted the 1988 Miss USA Pageant, the 1988 Miss Universe Pageant. In 1989 he co-hosted with Andrea Martin the TV special Opening of SkyDome. In 2004, he was back in the Miss Universe Pageant, when he hosted the Miss Universe Canada Pageant. In April 2006, he hosted  Celebrity Cooking Showdown.  In August 2006 and 2007, he made appearances as talk show host Rich Ginger on The Bold and the Beautiful.  From 2014-2015, he returned to his television hosting roots, as host of the travelling dance show, Dancing Pros Live {Source}.

He was also a successful as a TV Theme Show composer, often collaborating with his wife at the time, Loring. Some of his credits include: Diff'rent Strokes, and The Facts of Life. He also wrote themes for the game shows: The Joker's Wild, Celebrity Sweepstakes, The Diamond Head Game, Animal Crack-ups (with his brother Todd and Gary Pickus), Blank Check, Stumpers!, and Whew! {Source}.

He co-wrote the Bill Champlin hit, Sara  that appeared on his 1981 album, Runaway.

He was also a television producer, producing shows like the Anne Murray Christmas special for CBC in the 1970s.

His major claim-to-fame was the American sitcom, Growing Pains,  which ran from 1985-1992. Because of the show's successes, it also morphed into two reunion movies, The Growing Pains Movie (2000) and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004). He appeared on the television shows Hope & Gloria, and played a lead role on the triology Not Quite Human. 

He made frequent guest appearances on several televison shows and cameo appearances in films over the years. Thicke made a cameo appearance on the 2007 film, Alpha Dog. In 2008, he appeared in How I met Your Mother  and in the music video Robin Sparkles. In 2009, he made a guest appearance on Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, on the web-series Star-ving, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, Attack of the Show!. He made a guest appearance on the season six finale of Just Shoot Me, and on a few episodes of Canada's Worst Handyman 5. In 2010, Thicke appeared on the television program, Tosh.0  and appeared as a celebrity contestant on the sohw Don't Forget the Lyrics. In 2013, he took part in ABC's Celebrity Wife Swap, swapping wives with Gilbert Gottfried. In October 2016, he appeared as himself in the This is Us pilot for NBC.

He has also made appearances in commercials. In the 1990s, he was a spokesman for the Canadian division of Woolco department stores, until it's closing in 1994. In 2009, he started appearing for CCS Medical, which is a distributor of home-delivered diabetes supplies. In 2011, he became a spokesman for Cambridge Life Solutions. In 2014, he was appearing in spots for Optima Tax Relief.

On December 13, 2016, Thicke collapsed while playing hockey with his son Carter at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, California. His funeral was held on December 16, 2016, and was attended by many family members, friends, and former co-stars. He was buried at Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, CA.

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