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“Growing Pains” actor Alan Thicke died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 69. Thicke suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. Sadly, he passed away at the hospital, leaving behind a loving wife, Tanya, and three children, Brennan, Robin and Carter.
Here are some things you might not know about the beloved actor and television personality:
1. He was Homecoming King of Elliot Lake High School (located in Ontario, Canada).
It’s not surprising that someone as friendly Thicke was Canadian (and popular in high school)!
2. Speaking of famous Canadians, did you know that Thicke was emcee at hockey star Wayne Gretzy’s wedding in Edmonton, Canada?
He and Gretzky were old friends.
RIP to one of the great ones, Alan Thicke. pic.twitter.com/LvlU13s23h
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 14, 2016
3. Thicke was once married to Miss World.
His second wife, Gina Marie Tolleson, won the Miss World competition in 1990. He and Tolleson divorced in 1999, and he married wife, Tanya, in 2005.
4. He lost five teeth in a 2003 hockey accident.
A great athlete and devoted hockey player, Thicke lost give teeth and required extensive facial stitches after being struck by a hockey puck during a 2003 celebrity fundraising game. (He admitted he wasn’t wearing the right protection). Here’s another interesting tidbit: At the time of the incident, he was playing a game with Michael Vartan… yep, the hot teacher on “Never Been Kissed.”
5. Not only was Thicke an accomplished actor and television host, he also was an author.
6. He had a self-deprecating sense of humor.
Thicke used to refer to himself as the “affordable Shatner” because he would often accept hosting gigs passed over by William Shatner.
7. There was once a famous rumor that Alan Thicke turned down the lead role of Oskar in “Schindler’s List.”
Thicke scoffed at the rumor, saying, “No, I was never offered the role of Oskar. I wasn’t even offered the role of Oscar Mayer! It didn’t happen.”
8. Thicke’s good humor persevered until the very end.
His heart attack occurred while he was playing hockey with his youngest son, Carter. When the ambulance arrived and he was being wheeled away, he told his son Carter to get a picture of him with the ice rink in the background, saying “Hey, take a shot, kiddo.” Even in that moment, he was making those around him feel assured, saying “I’m going good guys, I’m good,” to the staff and players who watched him being wheeled to the ambulance. That says a lot about his spirit and is no doubt part of the reason why he was such a beloved actor for so many decades.
Today I lost my best friend and my idol, and the world lost one of it's finest. You are a legend and I love you Pops. Until next time. pic.twitter.com/ZQd2NZMTx4
— Carter Thicke (@CarterThicke) December 14, 2016
He will be sorely missed.