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Old 12-14-2016, 11:18 AM   #1
charlene
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Default Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

Statement from Gordon on the sudden death of his longtime friend Alan Thicke, "He was a very great friend and a very funny dad."


A long time friend of Gordon's, Alan Thicke died yesterday of a heart attack while playing hockey with his son. A fiercely proud Canadian and loving father he will be missed...
There is a story that when Alan's wife at the time, Gloria Loring, (soap opera actress) was pregnant with Robin she was overdue and Gordon came over to the house to 'rock out' and get things moving along...

previous thread: https://corfid.com/vbb/showthread.php?p=176126
Lightfoot has 90K copies apparently:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsJ1OEGIqg4
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

1983 - photo of Gordon and ALan:
http://www.macleans.ca/archives/alan...-up-the-night/

A Canadian star to light up the night

TELEVISION

Gillian MacKay

It was almost midnight by the time Alan Thicke finished taping his last performance of the day at the Metromedia television studios and headed across the back lot to his Hollywood office. Dressed only in black corduroy slippers and a peach velour bathrobe, which revealed a heavy gold chain nestling in his chest hair, he was a walking illustration of the Hollywood law that informality of attire increases in direct proportion to status. Alan Thicke may not yet be a household name in the United States, but in his small corner of Tinseltown the transplanted Canadian reigns supreme as both producer and star of Thicke of the Night, a 90-minute variety series which premiered this week across North America.

Running in the competitive late-night time slot opposite Johnny Carson, Thicke has exceeded even his own reputation for overwork in his bid to succeed where other contenders, like Merv Griffin and Dick Cavett, have failed. In the weeks before the premiere he logged 16to 20-hour days, sometimes sleeping overnight in his dressing room and fuelling his remarkable energy with boxes of doughnuts and pints of Häagen Dazs ice cream. Collapsing in a chair in his shabby, cluttered office, he popped a tablet of vitamin C into his mouth, chewing furiously. “I’m going to die,” he joked wearily. “I’m going to find out the series is a hit and then I’ll die.”

Pitting Thicke of the Night against the legendary Tonight Show is the most dramatic gamble of the fall television season. Certainly, the David and Goliath story has the American press buzzing about the mysterious Canadian who is, according to the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, “as well-known in the United States as the capital of Mongolia.” In fact, the 35-year-old native of Kirkland Lake, Ont., has lived the good life in Los Angeles for 13 years, with a list of television writing and production credits as long as his Bel Air swimming pool. And in Canada, where he was host of CTV’s afternoon talk show, The Alan Thicke Show, he is a celebrity. From 1980 until last week, Thicke’s clean-cut good looks, affable personality and expert understanding of the medium made him the country’s most popular daytime star, with more than half a million viewers. Now L.A.-based Metromedia Television and MGM/UA Television Distribution are investing more than $7 million in the hope that the same magic will at least win a respectable corner of the insomniac kingdom where Carson has reigned for 20 years, if not dethrone him.

Another television legend, Fred Silverman, masterminded Thicke’s assault with Machiavellian finesse. Ironically, in his role as president of NBC, Silverman was instrumental in dissuading Carson from retiring in 1980. Since Silverman’s much-publicized departure from NBC in 1981 to become an independent producer, Thicke of the Night is by far his most ambitious undertaking. The show’s upbeat variety format is based, in part, on Silverman’s contention that the conventional talk show is dead, that “all the questions have been asked and all the answers given.” As the father of all talk shows, with 12 million viewers, The Tonight Show is hardly a corpse. But in Silverman’s view the show’s tired format, aging audience and sagging ratings have created a “vulnerability in the late-night market” which he aims to exploit with a mixture of Top 40 musical acts, zany comedy sketches and celebrity interviews with an offbeat twist.

Thicke of the Night is only one of many attempts to keep North Americans glued to their sets past 10 p.m. Ted Koppel’s hard-hitting news program, Nightline, and the breezy, sarcastic Late Night with David Letterman both have a sizable following. As the latest entry in the fray, Thicke of the Night has 26 weeks to prove itself or become television history. Silverman has spent more than $1 million on advertising and glittering media receptions in a promotional push that he acknowledges is “as important as the show itself.” Hard sell has paid off in an enthusiastic response from such major sponsors as Procter & Gamble Inc. and Johnson & Johnson which have purchased nearly all the show’s advertising spots through next March. And broadcasters have matched the support: 130 stations have picked up the show, including 13 NBC affiliates and two stations that Carson himself owns. Of these, 70 will run the program directly against The Tonight Show, which more than 205 stations carry. In Canada, Ontario’s Global Television Network will air an hour-long version of the show twice a week beginning Sept. 27.

The strong response is all the more remarkable since the stations bought the show without seeing a pilot. Instead, they watched a package of highlights from The Alan Thicke Show and Fernwood 2-Night, a brilliant satire on the talk show genre which starred Martin Mull and won a cult following in its two seasons on air (1977-78); Thicke was both a producer and writer. The show’s backers are therefore selling it as a sponsor’s delight: one to attract the young crowd without putting off the parents. Fernwood’s former creative supervisor, AÍ Burton, now executive producer at Universal Television, predicts: “Thicke will appeal to the folks— the people who watch television a lot and consider themselves average citizens. But he will not lose that other group he knows so well—the young people in the fast lane.”

In terms of versatility, Thicke of the Night is a bit of a throwback to the days of The Ed Sullivan Show where, on a single evening, The Who would smash their guitars and Kate Smith would follow with God Bless America. Thicke describes his brand of mainstream madness as “Monty Python meets Art Linkletter.” The show is as schizophrenic as it sounds. Fans of And Now for Something Completely Different will likely enjoy Thicke’s at-home interview with CHiPs star Erik Estrada, which is drowned out by a shouting match between a cameraman and a Spanish-speaking maid. But the same audience will likely snore through interviews in which Three's Company star John Ritter talks earnestly about learning to listen to his five-year-old son and Wayne Gretzky discusses his endorsement of a new breakfast cereal. Similarly, music lovers who tune in for raucous rock groups such as The Tubes can expect no thrills when Thicke sings the show’s title song. Despite his bid to become television’s first rock V roll talk show host, Thicke looks liks a crooner in the mould of his teenage idol, Bobby Darin, when he parades with his microphone. One crew member whispered, rolling his eyes: “Ed Sullivan may have introduced The Rolling Stones, but he didn’t try to sing like them.”

Thicke may not set the music world on its ear, but he has set a new record for total involvement. Unlike most talk show hosts, Thicke does just about everything on the set but flash the cue cards. Having developed the concept for the show, he oversees the musical production, writes, directs, performs many of the sketches and attends to the most mundane technical details. Thicke owns one-third of the show in partnership with Silverman, in addition to receiving an “extremely generous salary” which he will not disclose but allowed as being between “$3,500 and $7,500” per show. When Thicke belts out such lyrics as “I’m going to make it on my own,” which he wrote, the clichés of pop music have an uncanny ring of truth.

If anyone deserves to make it on his own, it is Alan Thicke. As his crowded resumé attests, he has been a model of drive and versatility. He began his career as a writer with CBC’s The Tommy Hunter Show in 1968 and went on to produce game shows like NBC’s Wizard of Odds. He also wrote more than 30 theme songs for television series such as The Facts of Life and Different Strokes and produced specials for comic Flip Wilson and singers Barry Manilow and Anne Murray. Jack McAndrew, head of CBC variety when Thicke produced and wrote The René Simard Show (1977-1979), says, “For shows with a light and popular touch, he’s one of the best in the business.” While the master of middle-of-the-road television also has ventured onto more subversive byways, such as writing for Richard Pryor and Fernwood, his taste runs more to madcap send-ups of the medium than savaging its cozy illusions. There will be no dark side to Thicke of the Night. Says Fred Willard, who played Martin Mull’s cohost on Fernwood and who will appear often on the new show: “This is good-natured fun, which it should be for a mainstream commercial show.”


part 2-next post
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:33 AM   #3
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part 2
Thanks to Silverman’s flair for promotion, Thicke will certainly become a TV celebrity, if only during the brief period of the show’s opening weeks. In addition to inciting excitement about the challenge to Carson, Silverman also has fanned speculation about his personal motives in the affair. While president of NBC, he was forced to capitulate in a much-publicized battle with Carson over salary demands, settling on a package reputedly amounting to more than $5 million annually. After bumping into Carson at a Los Angeles restaurant recently, Silverman gleefully reported that the entertainer tauntingly asked: “You still in business?” Thicke himself was initially reluctant to play up the Carson angle with the press. “I’m not really competition for him,” he said in June. However, as the pressure mounted in the weeks before the premiere and spokesmen for The Tonight Show continued to react to queries about the show with indifference, Thicke changed his tune. “I hear rumours that The Tonight Show would like to kill us, just squash us,” he said. Just before taping the first show, he told the studio audience another “rumour”— that pressure from network executives could prevent his wife, Gloria Loring, who plays the troubled Liz Courtney on NBC’s afternoon soap opera Days of Our Lives, from appearing on his show. Later, he sniffed, “And they say they’re not worried.”

Carson may have some concern, but none as serious as the worries that emerged during the early sessions of Thicke of the Night. The task of assembling a polished and sparkling 90-minute variety program to run five nights a week is a producer’s nightmare. And during the taping of the first shows before a studio audience in August, the lack of preparation was glaringly evident. There was almost no time for rehearsals, scripts were altered minutes before taping and performers wound up ad-libbing many of their lines.

Bright-eyed and at ease before the camera, Thicke displayed an abundance of what one of the show’s three producers, Scott Sternberg, considers his key asset: “the likability factor.” But no amount of charm could compensate for the lack of organization. One day, Thicke had no time to edit the lines on his cue cards and stumbled so badly through his comic monologue that it had to be retaped. Although he did not panic, neither did he pluck triumph from disaster as Carson might have done. Silverman watched it all from the wings with a pained expression. In contrast to the good-humoured and unflappable Thicke, whose work uniform is a Nike tracksuit, Silverman stalked the studio in a seersucker suit, demanding to know why writers were not producing more and why the staff had not swept the floors. On the second day, Silverman erupted when a skit bombed as a result of disorganization and berated the staff at a five-hour production meeting that lasted until 4 a.m. On the third day, however, a beaming Silverman pronounced the show “terrific.” He said with conviction, “I don’t think anyone can say we’re not giving them what we promised.”

Since his early days as a youth in Kirkland Lake, Thicke himself has lived up to his promise. Outgoing but quiet, he was, in his mother’s words, “always an achiever.” He excelled at sports, at school where he was class valedictorian, and at public speaking, for which he won prizes throughout Northern Ontario. As a teenager, Thicke considered pursuing a career as a doctor, a United Church minister and a sportswriter. But at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., where he studied English, he discovered show business. Off campus he worked as a disc jockey at radio station CFPL at night, organized regular talent shows and even sang in the cocktail lounge of the now defunct lroquois Hotel. A publicity photograph at the time depicted a dreamy-eyed 18-year-old dressed in a shiny brocade jacket with black satin lapels, trying to look like Bobby Darin.

After Thicke graduated from university, he moved to Toronto, where he worked for three years as a writer and performer on such CBC shows as Time for Livin' and Good Company. One day in 1970 he saw a poster advertising the U.S.-born singer Gloria Loring, who was appearing at the city’s Royal York Hotel. Thicke, who fancied himself a ladies’ man, pestered Loring with phone calls until she reluctantly agreed to a date. Within a few months they were married, and they still speak about each other in glowing superlatives. Says Thicke: “I knew I would never find anyone more beautiful, talented, honest or maternal. Gloria is as good as it gets.”

During that period, Thicke quit the CBC in frustration and moved with Loring to Los Angeles. CBC executives had rejected proposals Thicke made for a comedy series on the grounds that the network “was not in the business of developing ideas,” as he recalls. Ironically, he was able to use some of the same material on the Emmy award-winning Lokman and Barkley Comedy Hour, where he quickly found a job as a writer. In 1980, after Thicke had spent 10 busy years as a writer and producer, Arthur Weinthal, CTV’s entertainment programming chief, approached him and asked him to audition as a replacement for Alan Hamel as a daytime talk show host. Thicke won out over such high-profile contenders as Brian Linehan. After his first season on the show the audience size jumped 55 per cent, making it the biggest success in the history of Canadian daytime television.

CTV did its best to suppress the more outrageous side of Thicke’s personality, fearing that anything too sophisticated would alienate an audience composed largely of retired people and housewives. Occasionally, Thicke indulged in offbeat humour, but for the most part he conducted his interviews with TV stars, singers, comics and assorted experts in a relaxed, humourous manner that the show’s producer, Paul Block, approvingly describes as “nonthreatening.” While his perennial good nature made the show seem dull to some viewers, Block, who ranks Thicke in a league with talk show greats Steve Allen, Jack Paar and even Carson, bristles at such criticism. By way of rebuttal, he points to Thicke’s interview with actress Morgan Fairchild, during which she recounted how she had simulated making love for a part in a TV movie. Says Block: “The reenactment of her heavy breathing was so torrid that Alan picked up the water pitcher and poured it over his head. Now I hardly call that bland.”

For all Block’s support, Thicke and CTV have not parted on friendly terms this season. Thicke received 16 job offers, including a chance to host a primetime variety show on CBS. After he chose Thicke of the Night he offered to host a half-hour weekly variety show of his own design for CTV as well. The network turned him down, and Weinthal now refuses to comment on the matter. For his part, Thicke is bitter about the rejection. “Where else in the world would you spend three years building up a star and then let him slip through your fingers?” he asks. Thicke’s show on Global basically will be a shorter version of the U.S. program, with occasional different segments for the Canadian audience. With celebrity guests like Gretzky, Gordon Lightfoot, regulars including Montreal singer Cécile Frenette and a large contingent of Canadians on the production staff, the show will have little trouble meeting domestic content regulations established by the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission.

South of the border, Thicke and his wife, who also earns a hefty six-figure salary as one of America’s most popular soap opera stars, enjoy the standard rewards of making it in Hollywood: a fulltime housekeeper, a Porsche, a Mercedes and a Lincoln in the driveway. Their large ranch-style house is perched high in the hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley. But busy careers and frequent appearances at charity benefits—particularly in support of research on juvenile diabetes, which their eight-year-old son, Brennan, contracted four years ago—leave them little time for staring at the view. Except for playing road hockey with Brennan and their other son, Robin, 6, or splashing in the Jacuzzi, Thicke’s notion of fun is working at home in his studio. Although he rarely loses his temper, Thicke is quietly demanding about everything in his life. He insists on seven-day work weeks for his staff and instructs his housekeeper in how to cook his bacon and eggs. Says Loring, unquestionably his match as a strong, vivacious personality: “Living with him is like a constant EST seminar.”

Although Thicke’s penchant for heavy gold jewellery and shirts unbuttoned to the navel creates a superficial impression of slickness, in fact he radiates a small-town friendliness which continues when the cameras stop rolling. The emotional support of his family is vital to Thicke. “I need to know that I always have that vine to grasp as I swing through the jungle,” he says.

Thicke of the Night may be an easy favourite with his family, but the first few weeks will put its popularity to the true test. The lavish promotion and dramatic buildup of the battle with Carson will ensure that millions tune in at the start—if only to see what all the fuss has been about. Thicke is fully aware that he faces enormous pressure to live up to his advance billing. “All the attention has been great, but it is a bit premature,” he says. “I’m not so stupid as to think I am the Messiah.” If Thicke is worried about the public verdict, he gives no sign of it. “The worst I can do is fail and go back to my Jacuzzi and lick my wounds,” he reflects lightly. Whether he succeeds or fails, there is no question that Alan Thicke will be entertaining for years to come.

Enjoy more great stories from The Maclean’s Archives.
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Old 12-14-2016, 12:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

When I heard the news a bell rang and sure enough there is an old Jesse Joe thread at
http://www.corfid.com/vbb//showthread.php?t=20689
at the time JJ had uploaded several videos to YouTube that he has since deleted.
I will try via Facebook to contact the elusive one time frequent poster kid and see if he could reupload his videos
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

Alan spoke about Lightfoot and songwriting: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...erviews-956016

Ten days before his sudden death, the Canada-born entertainer reflected on his rocky start in show business, why versatility was key to his success and how he mentored son Robin.
For a Hollywood actor who became one of America's most beloved TV dads on Growing Pains, Alan Thicke was never shy about talking about his ties to his native Canada and how he had prospered working both sides of the border over an almost-50-year career.

That was obvious when The Hollywood Reporter sat down to talk to Thicke on Dec 3 at the Whistler Film Festival for what would be one of his last interviews before his sudden death Tuesday. Told that he'd long been lauded for doing just about everything in show business, Thicke was asked what he still had left to do.

"There's not much that I haven't done in my life, but there's lots of things that I'd like to do better," he answered, looking and sound hauntingly reflective. "The variety of my career has been the fun of it, and I can thank Canada for that," Thicke added.

Having grown up in Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario, Thicke recounted cutting his teeth in TV at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the country's public broadcaster, in the late 1960s. "When I started out, at the CBC in Toronto, there was so little work. It was a different world from what it is now. Now we're blessed with so much production in so many Canadian cities," he said.

Thicke attended Whistler to promote his latest movie, the offbeat comedy It's Not My Fault and I Don't Care Anyway, in which he plays a self-help guru. "The movie was shot in and around Edmonton. That would have been unheard of in the 1970s," Thicke said.



At the CBC, he recalled becoming a jack of all trades to get by as a performer. "One week you may be an actor, and the next week you had to be nimble enough to be a TV host,” he recalled. "And the week after that you might have to do some stand-up, or be in an improv company, or write and sing a song somewhere."

That well-rounded training served him well when Thicke eventually moved to Hollywood. Besides his acting and talk show hosting, he wrote theme songs for a number of successful TV shows, including The Facts of Life and Different Strokes.

Thicke said that he was supportive when his son Robin first came to him as a teen to announce he wanted to pursue a career in music. But his encouragement came with some professional advice.

Said Thicke: "If this is your choice, [this is] what do you need to do: It'll be like going to school, or becoming a doctor. You better focus — learn to play the piano, start writing songs, pay attention to great lyricists, like great Canadians like Gordon Lightfoot,"

As part of that education, Thicke took Robin to concerts by the Bee Gees, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and The Beastie Boys, all the time giving him tips from the bleachers. Of course, the father's faith in his son's musical potential sprang from more than love, Thicke said at one point.

"It wasn't only me, as I wouldn't have trusted in my own biased opinion. Authorities no less expert than David Foster, a lifelong friend of mine, spotted [Robin’s] talent," Thicke said, referencing Foster, a fellow Canadian musician and famed music producer.

To thank him for the early mentoring, Robin Thicke decided to send Foster a bottle of champagne. The problem was, he was underage.

"I had to intercede and buy the bottle of champagne and ensure it got in Foster's hands," the elder Thicke reminisced with a broad smile on is face.

Alan Thicke

Thicke's own start in Hollywood in the early 1970s was helped in large part by Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, with whom Thicke worked at the CBC during the late 1960s. After Michaels appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, his stateside career was assured, and not long after, Thicke followed him across the border. His hop to Hollywood was also spurred on by a run-in with Len Casey, the then-head of variety at the CBC, after he rejected Thicke's pitch for a Canadian TV show during one meeting.

"He basically told me, we're not a goddamn training ground around here. You think this is a good show. Get it on stage. Prove to me we should put it on TV," Thicke recalled. That failed pitch sealed it for the young Canadian performer, as Thicke resolved to take his ideas for TV to Los Angeles, away from a CBC not willing to develop new talent.

Within months, Thicke was writing for American TV shows hosted by the likes of Glen Campbell and Flip Wilson. "But I'm not bitter, 40 years later?" Thicke said with a hearty laughter.

He wasn't done with Canada, however, as Thicke, for decades, used his Hollywood experience to hone his skills back home. And that became possible because Canadians have long prized homegrown talent that makes it south of the border, he recounted.

"We're still the 51st state in (America's) mind, even though we like to think that they're the 11th province," Thicke said. "And that's OK. There's motivation there. The fact that you go to the States, now you have some credibility, now you come back to Canada and do some stuff," he added.

During another moment of the interview, Thicke recalled coming back home at one point to do a talk show out of Vancouver between 1980 and 1983, The Alan Thicke Show.

That effort led to his short-lived U.S. late night show, Thicke of the Night, which didn't do well against The Tonight Show. But there was one silver lining to his failed talk show: "That show was a dog. However, that was my first exposure on camera in the States. And that led to Growing Pains," he recalled.
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

TORONTO TV - I remember this interview: so sweet...
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

as a kid he had a guitar and played Lightfoot songs: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/...ticle33330938/

America’s dad was Canadian, and he never forgot it.

“I’m a Canadian citizen after all these years,” Alan Thicke told the Canadian Press at the Banff World Media Festival in 2014. “I’m proud of that; I think it’s part of my identity,” added Mr. Thicke, who earned the nickname “America’s Dad” playing good-hearted and wise psychiatrist father Jason Seaver on the hit 1980s sitcom Growing Pains.

“He was a bigger flag-waver than me, if that’s even possible,” says the composer and music producer David Foster, a fellow transplanted Canadian.


Mr. Thicke took his role as a Canadian in Los Angeles very seriously from the beginning, opening his home to a parade of Canadians who aspired to follow in his footsteps – including Alex Trebek, who, as a new arrival, stayed in the guest room of the home Mr. Thicke and his first wife, Gloria Loring, owned on Mulholland Drive.

And when a stray cat wandered into their house and didn’t leave, Thicke – a famously devoted hockey fan – named it Jean Béliveau, after the Montreal Canadiens star. When the cat turned out to be a girl – she had kittens – she was renamed Mrs. Béliveau.

“There was a lot of Canadiana in our lives,” says Ms. Loring, mother to two of Mr. Thicke’s sons, Brennan Thicke and Robin Thicke, the musician. Mr. Thicke had a third son with his second wife, Gina Tolleson; Carter Thicke was named after two baseball heroes who played on Canadian teams, Gary Carter and Joe Carter. In 2005, Mr. Thicke married Tanya Callau, a Bolivian-born actress and model.

Family was central to Mr. Thicke’s life – and not just on TV. When he called Ms. Loring in January, 1970, to ask her for a date – he had seen her at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, where she was performing – she was inclined to turn him down; he was a stranger after all, even if he did tell her he worked for the CBC. But instead of inviting her to a restaurant, he asked her to dinner with his family in Brampton.

“I went: Well, you know, that sounds nice – having dinner at someone’s home – because I was on the road all by myself. So I went and just loved his family. I think I fell in love with his family before I fell in love with him.”

Mr. Thicke’s packed résumé includes everything from hosting TV talk shows – the Alan Thicke Show in Canada and the ill-fated Thicke of the Night in the U.S. – to starring on sitcoms to writing theme songs for TV shows, including The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes. He hosted beauty pageants and parades and wrote two books. He was a Hollywood celebrity and a Canadian icon who continued to work in both places.

Despite his professional success, he maintained the tremendous work ethic of his Toronto and Hollywood salad days, appearing on too many shows to list, including This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Canada’s Worst Handyman (he pleaded for help renovating his condemned Delta Upsilon frat house at Western University), Celebrity Wife Swap (with his third wife, Tanya Callau) and Celebrity Family Feud. When he was asked, during the speed round, to name a famous “Justin,” he answered “Trudeau.” (That other famous Canadian, “Bieber” was taken.)

When the host expressed some doubt over the response, Mr. Thicke energetically protested “That’s the Prime Minister of Canada.”

Mr. Trudeau tweeted Wednesday that Mr. Thicke “was proudly Canadian, never forgetting his roots as he soared to stardom.”

Mr. Thicke, who less than two weeks ago received the Canadian Icon Award from the Whistler Film Festival, died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 69. He had been playing hockey with teenage son, Carter.

“He certainly retained his love of Canada and his Canadian identity,” Ms. Loring said on Wednesday.

“For heaven’s sake, he had a heart attack and died while he was playing hockey with his son. Come on; it doesn’t get more Canadian than that – family and hockey.”

Alan Thicke was born in Kirkland Lake, Ont., on March 1, 1947. His grandfather owned a GM dealership, his grandmother played piano to accompany silent movies and at the same theatre, his mother was a tap dancer, according to a 1996 profile in Saturday Night.

As a kid, he did not see television until he was seven, he has said.

He was a good student, skipping grades four and six, according to a profile in the Western Alumni Gazette, and was the 1965 homecoming king at Elliot Lake Secondary School. After a short stint in theology school, he arrived at Western when he was 16 and made it into the prestigious Delta Upsilon fraternity, where he was given the nickname “Thicker.”

He had a guitar his mother had bought for his birthday and played Gordon Lightfoot songs in his dorm room. “I think that’s what attracted all the women to him in those days; he could play guitar and he knew all the folk songs,” says Frances Eberhard, a fraternity brother.

Mr. Thicke drove a Volkswagen Beetle and liked to live spontaneously; one night, on the way home from an event, he asked Mr. Eberhard if he wanted to go to Florida instead. He did, so they drove to Fort Lauderdale, where they camped on the beach and ate 15-cent hamburgers.

In London, Mr. Thicke met radio host Bill Brady, who gave the university student work copywriting and hosting overnights at radio station CFPL.

After Western, Mr. Thicke went to Toronto where at the CBC, he did everything from chauffeur stars and fetch coffee to sing, dance and write theme songs, according to a 1978 piece in The Globe and Mail. He also wrote for The Tommy Hunter Show.

His whirlwind romance with Ms. Loring, who later became a soap opera star on Days of Our Lives, saw the two of them load up his belongings in Toronto, drive to New York to get hers and move to California. She was getting work there and he wanted to start his writing career, she says. They married that August.

“Hollywood was quite intimidating, everything about it,” Mr. Thicke said in the documentary Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood. He recalled arriving, bunking at a motel and feeling lonely – and that’s when he saw in the newspaper that the L.A. Kings had a game that night. He got a ticket, saw the game – and felt at home. He says his first friends in L.A. were hockey players.

He got work – both in Hollywood and back home in Canada – with all kinds of shows, including The Bobby Darin Show, The René Simard Show and TV specials for stars including Barry Manilow and Anne Murray.

“He was 24 and I was 26. Both of us, green as grass,” Ms. Murray says. “We bonded because we were both Canadians in Hollywood. We stayed in touch ever since. He was a like a brother to me. He produced and wrote eight of my television specials. He would welcome the audience. He had the gift of gab. He could get in front of any kind of crowd. I was always in awe of that.”

“I’ve been called a workaholic,” Mr. Thicke told The Globe in 1978. “But it’s not punishment. I love it. I love every minute of it.”

He was hired by TV legend Norman Lear as a writer on Fernwood 2 Night, and writer and producer on America 2-Night, which in a 1978 review, The Globe called “a satire of talk-show TV that is so successful it makes you positively squirm.”

Mr. Lear says Mr. Thicke was off-the-wall hilarious and offbeat. “That’s why he was so infinitely valuable. ... He shared the sense of the ridiculous. He had a glorious sense of humour,” Mr. Lear says.

“I’m a firm believer that laughter adds time to one’s life,” adds Mr. Lear, who is 94. “So he added time to mine; I wish I added more to his.”

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Old 12-15-2016, 08:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

Mr. Thicke had the opportunity to host a real talk show in the early 1980s. The Alan Thicke Show was a daytime chat show recorded in Vancouver, with guests, according to IMDB, that included Anthony Hopkins, Margaret Trudeau and Wayne Gretzky, who was a friend.

In 1983, he was given his own late-night U.S. talk show, Thicke of the Night. Mr. Foster – a guest on both shows – says Mr. Thicke was a terrific interviewer.

“The guy was a total giver. He would ask a question but then would not impart his own opinion; he would just let you go,” Mr. Foster says. “He didn’t interrupt. Which was a great quality.”

It wasn’t enough, however. Mr. Thicke was up against Johnny Carson, the undisputed king of late night. The show lasted only nine months.

Two years later came the show that “sort of saved my life,” Mr. Thicke later told the Western Alumni Gazette. He played kind, wholesome psychiatrist dad Jason Seaver on Growing Pains, dispensing solid advice in tidy, neatly wrapped episodes. The show ran for seven seasons and would remain the role with which Mr. Thicke was most closely associated – even as he continued to thrive with a busy and satisfying career. Recent achievements included induction into the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2013.

His real-life role as dad was also central to his life; he was a devoted father, by all accounts. He also had two grandsons. To them, he was “Pops.”

“He was a true family man, and a really good man. I know a lot of people know him as the funny guy – comedian and talk show host, actor and all that stuff. What made him happiest the most was his family … that was his rock,” says actor Kristy Swanson, who dated Mr. Thicke for four years.

Comedian Mark Critch recalls Mr. Thicke appearing on an ‘80s-themed episode of This Hour Has 22 Minutes in 2011, and playing him songs his son Robin was working on.

“I was listening to Blurred Lines with Alan Thicke before it was released on his cell phone,” says Mr. Critch, who says Mr. Thicke was “incredibly” proud. “He looked like his kid had just learned to skate for the first time.”

When Robin ran into legal trouble over the song, his dad was very supportive, according to people close to Mr. Thicke.

Alan Thicke, of course, knew a great deal about music; he wrote numerous theme songs for TV shows, including sitcoms and game shows.

Mr. Foster, who helped him with the original Wheel of Fortune theme, says Mr. Thicke was “so bright” and a great collaborator.

Mr. Foster says Mr. Thicke worked very hard on his friendships. He invited people over for Canadian Thanksgiving each year. And just recently he invited Mr. Foster and legendary TV director James Burrows to an L.A. Kings game. They had seats right behind the glass.

“We were like three teenagers. It was just the best night,” Mr. Foster says.

In addition to friends, Ms. Loring says, family was everything to Mr. Thicke.

“We were divorced 30 years ago and his sense of humour always rose to the occasion. A divorce is very painful and very hard and [prompts] very difficult feelings and there’s all of that to wade through and yet Alan found a way to make it funny. He said ‘I was happily married for 14 years; unfortunately Gloria was only happily married for 11.’”

Ms. Loring recalls very Canadian Christmases back with the Thicke family in Brampton, Ont., where they would eat croissants, tourtière and cabbage rolls and drink pink champagne. Ms. Loring, Mr. Thicke and their families continued to spend holidays together. They shared Thanksgiving dinner recently, at Robin’s home in Malibu.

“I remember looking at Alan with his white beard and thinking oh my God, honey you’re finally getting old and so am I – older,” Ms. Loring says. “And I thought isn’t it going to be sweet that we can have so many years ahead of us and watch our grandchildren graduate high school and all of that. And now we don’t have that with him.”
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:46 PM   #9
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Default Thicke Of The Night!

Great new video of Gord from 1984 on youtube!
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thicke Of The Night!

Never seen that before. Funny seeing Gord with an electric guitar, and it's Diana, not Diane!!! lol
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Thicke Of The Night!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan O'Malley View Post
Great new video of Gord from 1984 on youtube!
Dan perhaps you could post the URL of this youtube video I failed to find it
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Thicke Of The Night!

OK I s4arched for GL 1984 and found it
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Thicke Of The Night!

Thanks! I sort of remember this one!

Such a shocker of the passing of Alan Thicke. May he rest in peace.

A little aside, Back in October 1998, we attended a professional skating show (duh, that's why my user name is "paskatefan," LOL!) in Philadelphia that was aired on national TV in the US. It was called "Skaters' Tribute to Broadway." I mention this because Alan Thicke co-hosted the show (introducing some of the skaters), so we actually got to see him there!

Gail

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Old 12-16-2016, 06:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

What a great article! Such a sad loss. RIP, Alan Thicke.

Gail
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Alan Thicke has died - long time Lightfoot friend..

Thanks for the video, Sir John!
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