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Alan Thicke was born in Canada and made a career in Hollywood, but his appeal had no borders.
The beloved TV star suffered a heart attack Tuesday, and just hours after his death, tributes from family, friends and fans of the 69-year-old came pouring in.
Among the first to share their thoughts and love for Thicke were the actor's sons, Carter and Robin. Carter, 19, was with his father at the time of his death, and called him "my best friend and my idol."
Of course, Thicke's parental role went beyond his own boys. From 1985 to 1992, he played the Seaver family patriarch on "Growing Pains."
"I spent Monday through Friday for seven important years with Alan Thicke as my 'TV dad,'" his on-screen son, Kirk Cameron, said in a statement to TODAY. "I'm shocked and truly heartbroken today at the news of his death. Alan was a generous, kind and loving man. I am so blessed to have grown up with him. (My wife) Chelsea and I send our love and prayers to his family tonight. We will cherish the memories... 'sharing the laughter and love.'"
Cameron's sister, Candace Cameron Bure, who worked alongside Thicke on "Fuller House," said she was "sad beyond words" over the loss.
Tracey Gold struggled to find words to express her loss, instead sharing a sweet photo of her TV dad.
And onetime "Growing Pains" co-star Leonardo DiCaprio released the following statement:
“Alan was a devoted father, husband, friend and role model. He knew how to harness the power of the entertainment industry to be a positive influence in so many lives — including mine. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work with Alan early in my career. He had tremendous class, a huge heart, and he taught me and so many others the valuable lessons about humility and gratitude. I've seen him a number of times over the years and when Alan Thicke walked in the room, quite frankly, no one was cooler. I miss him already — my thoughts and prayers are with the entire Thicke family during this difficult time.”
Similar sentiments were shared again and again on social media, both from others who'd worked with Thicke and from famous names who were inspired him.
They included The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, a longtime friend.
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