Award-winning entertainer, Alan Thicke, BA’67, had many talents. He spent more than four decades as an actor, host, author and composer. And his star power first sparked at Western.
Multi-talented, hilarious, and insightful hardly begin to describe the late Alan Thicke, BA'67, and his career as an all-purpose entertainer. He is best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the father on the ABC television series, Growing Pains, now syndicated in more than 65 countries. He also appeared on the CBS hit comedy How I Met Your Mother and is well-known for being the father of platinum album-selling singer-songwriter, Robin Thicke.
Alan Thicke came to Western at 16, having skipped Grades 4 and 6. After graduating from Western in 1967, he kicked off his career at the CBC working for Lorne Michaels.
Early in his career, Mr. Thicke wrote and/or produced for stars like Richard Pryor, Anne Murray, Bill Cosby, Kenny Rogers, Olivia Newton-John and Barry Manilow.
From 1980 to 1983, The Alan Thicke Show became (and remains) the biggest hit in the history of Canadian daytime television. The American late-night entry Thicke of the Night followed, however with less success.
He had roles in many TV movies and feature films, including Disney’s Not Quite Human trilogy; The Calendar Girl Murders; Windsor Protocol; Rubdown; Any Place But Home; Obsessed; Betrayal Of The Dove; Ice Angel; Crossroads; and Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
In theatre, Mr. Thicke received rave reviews opposite Jason Alexander in the Neil Simon/Burt Bacharach musical Promises, Promises and for his Broadway debut as ‘Billy Flynn’ in Chicago-The Musical.
A sought-after emcee, he hosted event specials including the Emmy Awards and Miss Universe and his series hosting included ABC’s Animal Crack-ups, the Emmy-nominated Pictionary and A&E’s Travelquest.
As a headliner, he played the main Las Vegas showrooms of the Hilton, Desert Inn and Sands, as well as Atlantic City’s Resorts International, numerous cruise ships, and corporate events for Borden, Nestle, Mattel and Baskin-Robbins to name a few.
Mr. Thicke also authored Lovely Parting Gifts, How to Raise Kids Who Won’t Hate You and How Men Have Babies – The Pregnant Father’s Survival Guide.
He wrote sitcoms for Castle Rock, Warner Bros., and Viacom, and several feature film scripts. He was Executive Producer for the NBC Movie of the Week The Secret She Carried, and penned a nationally syndicated humor column for the Toronto Sun.
Mr. Thicke’s background in game shows is extensive. He produced Celebrity Sweepstakes and Wizard of Odds, launching the career of friend Alex Trebek. Wheel of Fortune and The Joker’s Wild are among the more than 45 television theme songs composed by Thicke, including Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.
He earned a Golden Globe “Best Actor” nomination and seven Emmy Award nominations (five for writing, two for acting). In December 2013, he was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. He also starred in his own reality TV series, Unusually Thicke, which first aired in 2014.
Mr. Thicke and his father also launched the Thicke Centre for Juvenile Diabetes Research, which is how he maintained his roots to Western.
Mr. Thicke passed away on December 13, 2016. He leaves behind his wife Tanya Callau and three sons: Brennan, Robin and Carter.
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