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Alan Thicke dies at 69: Son Robin Thicke and Ellen DeGeneres lead tributes

Gemma Strong

Alan Thicke, best known for his starring role as Dr Jason Seaver on Growing Pains, has sadly passed away at the age of 69. His son Robin Thicke confirmed the sad news, and described his father as "the greatest man I ever met". The singer told the LA Times that Alan has tragically suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his teenage son Carter, and that one of the last things he had said was a compliment to Carter on a good shot.

Alan became a household name in the Eighties thanks to his appearances on Growing Pains, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination in 1988. He went on to appear in countless other TV shows, including Hope & Gloria, Married with Children, and more recently, Fuller House and This Is Us.

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Alan Thicke dead aged 69: son Robin Thicke leads tributesVIEW GALLERY

Robin Thicke described his father Alan Thicke as "the greatest man I ever met"

The father-of-three also hosted his own comedic talk show, The Alan Thicke Show, from 1980 until 1982, and later Thicke of the Night, from 1983-1984. In 2014-2015, he starred in the reality series Unusually Thicke alongside his wife Tanya and son Carter.

The news of his death sparked an outpouring of tributes on social media. Carter, the youngest of Alan's three sons, tweeted: "Today I lost my best friend and my idol, and the world lost one of its finest. You are a legend and I love you Pops. Until next time."

Alan Thicke dead aged 69: pictured with his wife Tanya and son CarterVIEW GALLERY

Alan pictured with his wife Tanya and his son Carter

Robin's ex-wife Paula Patton posted a poem of remembrance attributed to Mother Teresa about the beauty of life, while Ellen DeGeneres also remembered the star. "America loved Alan Thicke. I'm so sad he's gone," she said. "Sending so much love to his family."

Alan's Fuller House co-star Bob Saget wrote: "Such a good husband, father, brother and friend", while Larry King added: "So sorry to hear of the passing of Alan Thicke. A wonderful talent, a wonderful man."

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Paula Patton shared a touching tribute to her former father-in-law 

Maria Shriver tweeted: "My heart goes out to Alan Thicke's family. He was such a kind man. I just saw him a few months ago. Life is fragile, my friends. May he rest in peace and may his family know that we are praying for them."

John Legend said: "RIP Alan Thicke. I grew up watching him and got to know him through Robin. He was always so kind to me. So sad to hear about his passing." Ryan Seacrest added: "Sad to learn of Alan Thicke's passing. He was a great friend over the year. Thoughts & prayers to his family."

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John Legend also remembered the TV star

Charmed star Alyssa Milano wrote: "Alan Thicke was always the nicest and happiest person in the room. Gone way too soon. Rest In Peace", while Demi Lovato said: "Had the pleasure of meeting Alan Thicke and his amazing wife Tanya a few years back… my thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP."