Alan Thicke Biography

(Best Known for Playing Dr. Jason Seaver on the 1980s Sitcom ‘Growing Pains’ on ABC)

Birthday: March 1, 1947 (Pisces)

Born In: Kirkland Lake, Canada

Alan Thicke was a Canadian actor, songwriter and television host, who had been regaling his audiences since his late teens. Beginning his career as a radio jockey while studying English and Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, he soon signed with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a writer, writing several sitcoms before emerging as a songwriter, composing several theme songs for popular game and talk shows, lending his voice to some. Debuting as a television host with a game show at the age of 28, he began to host his own The Alan Thicke Show not long after that, moving to USA within three years with Thicke of the Night. While he is widely known for his role in the ABC sitcom Growing Pains, he had also acted in numerous films and commercials and had successfully hosted several variety, game and reality shows, specials and parades, earning a place in the Canada's Walk of Fame for them.

Quick Facts

Canadian Celebrities Born In March

Also Known As: Alan Willis Jeffrey, Alan Willis Thicke

Died At Age: 69


Spouse/Ex-: Gina Tolleson, Gloria Loring, Tanya Callau (m. 2005), Gina Tolleson (m. 1994–1999), Gloria Loring (m. 1970–1986)

father: William Jeffery

mother: Joan, Shirley Isobel Marie

children: Brennan Thicke, Carter Thicke, Robin Thicke

Born Country: Canada

Actors Canadian Men

Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males

Died on: December 13, 2016

place of death: Burbank, California, United States

Cause of Death: Aortic Dissection

Notable Alumni: University Of Western Ontario

More Facts

education: University of Western Ontario

Childhood & Early Life

Alan Thicke was born as Alan Willis Jeffrey on March 1, 1947 in Kirkland Lake, located in the northeastern Ontario, Canada. His father, William Jeffrey, was a stockbroker while his mother Shirley "Joan" Isobel Marie (née Greer), was a nurse.

After his parents’ divorce in 1953, he was raised by his mother and stepfather Dr. Brian Thicke, who also gave Alan his surname. Eventually the family moved to Elliot Lake, where he was raised along with his two half-siblings; writer-producer Todd Thicke and chiropractor Joanne Greer Thicke.

Bright and intelligent, he skipped two grades (4 and 6} at school and because of that he was considered a dork by his classmates. Girls did not pay much attention to him and the boys refused to include him in sports.  But whenever a talent show was organized, Alan was chosen to host it.

In 1965, at the age of sixteen, Alan graduated from Elliot Lake Secondary School and entered University of Western Ontario, from where he graduated in 1967 with a B.A. degree in English and Psychology. This time, his hard work, storytelling ability, and wit helped him to gain many friends.

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Early Career: Writer, Composer & Host

While studying at the Western, Alan Thicke participated in a talent show organized by CFPL Radio. The judge found him funny, bright and yet deliberate and offered him the job of an overnight announcer. Thus, he began his career as an all-night disc jockey at CFPL Radio even before his graduation.

His performance at the radio drew the attention of the Canadian Broadcasting Company and very soon he signed up with CBC as a writer. Sometime in 1968, he debuted on television with The Good Companion, appearing in it as one of the twenty-five performers till it closed in 1969.

From June to September 1969, he appeared as a series regular in a music variety television series, It’s Our Stuff. Next in 1971, he appeared in the voice role of the Narrator/Father in the third telecast of The Point!

All the while, he continued to write, penning a few sitcoms for CBC, concurrently producing a variety of television shows. Sometime now, he also began writing music scores, not only composing, but also singing the theme song for the NBC game show, The Wizard of Odds ­(1973-1974).

Among the other game show theme songs he composed in 1970s were Celebrity Sweepstakes (1974), The Diamond Head Game (1975), Wheel of Fortune (1975), The Facts of Life (1979) etc. However, his best work of this period is the theme song he co-composed with Al Burton and Gloria Loring for Diff’rent Strokes( (1978-1986).

Meanwhile in 1975, he debuted as a host with the Canadian game show, Face The Music for CHCH-TV. It was followed by another game show called First Impression (1976-1977)2 , which he hosted for CTV.

In 1980, he had his first major breakthrough when he started hosting his very own popular day-time talk show, The Alan Thicke Show, on CTV. It ran till he moved to the USA in 1983. Also in 1983, he debuted in films, starring in the Canadian comedy film, Copper Mountain.


In September 1983, Alan Thicke began his USA innings with a late night talk show called Thicke of the Night. He not only hosted the show, but also served as the writer, executive producer and composer. Also from the same year, he began to co-host The Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade

From 1984 onwards, he started appearing in numerous television series, eventually bagging the main role of Dr. Jason Roland Seaver in the ABC sitcom, Growing Pain.   Debuting in 1985, the series ran for seven seasons, making him a household name.

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Meanwhile, he continued to appear in various other television productions, debuting in television films with Not Quite Human (1987), appearing as Dr. Jonas Carson in it. Later he would reprise the role in two of its sequels; Not Quite Human II (1989) and Still Not Quite Human (1992).

All the while, he continued to serve as a host, hosting several live programs like the Miss USA Pageant (1988) in Texas as well as the special Opening of SkyDome in Toronto (1989). Equally active on television, he also hosted Travelquest in 1992.

In 1993, he debuted as a star with the movie Stepmonster. Other important big screen works of this decade include Open Season (1995), Demolition High (1996), and Anarchy TV (1998).   Playing Dennis Dupree in the NBC sitcom, Hope & Gloria (1995-1996), was one of his most important works on television.

In 1999, he published his first book, How Men Have Babies: The Pregnant Father's Survival Guide. It would be followed in 2006 with How to Raise Kids Who Won't Hate You. In 2009, he reissued the second book, adding a chapter on raising rock stars.

All through 2000s, he continued to appear in various productions, leaving his mark in films like Raising Helen (2004), The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009), RoboDoc (2009) etc. Among his important television works of this decade were Animal Miracles, Alpha Dog, The Bold and the Beautiful, JPod etc.

From 2008 to 2013, he also appeared as himself in five episodes of How I met Your Mother. Another of his important work of 2010s was Unusually Thicke. Billed as a "reality-sitcom hybrid", the series combines a reality television format with improvisational comedy.

In 2014-2015, he hosted a travelling dance show called Dancing Pros Live, touring the United States with it. Concurrently, he continued to act in documentaries, films and television series, many of which were released posthumously in 2017.

Major Works

Thicke is best known for his role of Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist and a father, in the ABC sitcom Growing Pains that ran from September 1985 to April 1992. Later, he reprised the same role in two television movies, The Growing Pains Movie (2000) and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004).

Awards & Achievements

Alan Thicke was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2013 and Brampton Arts Walk of Fame in 2015.

Family & Personal Life

Alan Thicke married three times. On August 22, 1970, he married his first wife, actress Gloria Loring, with whom he had two sons Brennan and Robin. The couple divorced in 1984. Among his sons, Robin Thicke grew up to be a well-known singer-songwriter.

Next on August 13, 1994, he married Gina Marie Tolleson, Miss World 1990, having one son, Carter William Thicke with her. Their divorce was finalized on September 29, 1999.

On May 7, 2005, he married his third wife, model Tanya Callau. They remained married until his sudden death from of type-A aortic dissection on December 13, 2016

Alan Thicke Movies

1. Olivia Newton-John: Hollywood Nights (1980)


2. Olivia (1978)


3. The Barry Manilow Special (1977)


4. The Richard Pryor Special? (1977)


5. Alpha Dog (2006)

  (Drama, Biography, Crime)

6. Carolina (2003)

  (Romance, Drama, Comedy)

7. Raising Helen (2004)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance)

8. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009)


9. That's My Boy (2012)


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