Growing Pains star Alan Thicke passes away at 69

Paul Rapuzzi

            On Tuesday, Dec. 13, beloved actor Alan Thicke passed away from a heart attack playing ice hockey with his 19 year old son, Carter Thicke. Thicke’s heart attack was reportedly due to a ruptured aorta which he attained in the ice rink.

            Thicke was well known for his role as Jason Seaver on the 90’s sitcom Growing Pains. Thicke has done several movies and even guest starred on multiple shows such as Fuller House and How I Met Your Mother as himself.

            As I heard news of the actor’s passing I decided to watch clips of his work on Growing Pains. Apart from making some standard jokes and several noises you would expect to hear from a gorilla I didn’t see what all the hoopla was about.

            I suppose it can be attributed to the nostalgia factor.

            It’s similar when you go back and watch shows like Full House for example. When you were younger John Stamos’ moaning about his hair and David Coulier’s impressions of Popeye, and Daffy Duck were good for a smile but going back and watching the same thing years later makes you wonder what you found funny about them in the first place.

            Regardless of how unfunny I found Jason Seaver I can understand why Thicke’s passing would come as such sad news to his colleagues and fans. Working with someone on a project like Growing Pains for so long and growing up watching news seasons year after year creates connections both between colleagues and audiences.

            They begin to feel like extended family.

            Kirk Cameron, who played Thicke’s TV son, Mike Seaver, shared the his feelings on the passing of his on-screen father.

            “Alan was a kind, generous and loving man,” Cameron shared on his Instagram. “I am so blessed to have grown up with him. Chelsea and I send our love and prayers to his family tonight. We will cherish the memories…sharing the laughter and the love.”