Thicke reportedly suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his youngest son, Carter.
Blessed with handsome looks and a distinctive voice, the Canadian actor was best known for his role on the ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains,” where he portrayed patriarch Jason Seaver.
“Alan was a devoted father, husband, friend and role model,” he wrote. “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.”
Thicke’s on-screen wife, Joanna Kerns, said in a statement, “I loved Al. I called him Al because it really bugged him. He thought it sounded like an old man’s name. He hated it, but the cast loved it and unfortunately for him, it stuck.
“Alan loved everything youthful: women, sports, music and above all, his beautiful and talented sons, Brennan, Robin and Carter. Alan was a true and loyal friend. As Maggie and Jason Seaver, we experienced more than a life-changing success together. When you pretend to love someone day after day, year after year, you see all their faults and foibles and learn to accept them as they are, separate from you, and there is a connection that happens that is hard to explain. I had that with Alan. Maybe that’s what marriage should be, the ability to love without judgment and the strength to remain separate.
I am devastated by Alan’s passing and will be for some time.”
Kirk Cameron, who played Thicke’s eldest son, Michael, instagrammed a photo of the two on set with the caption: “I spent Monday through Friday for seven important years with Alan Thicke as my ‘TV dad.’ 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. Chelsea and I send our love and prayers to his family tonight. We will cherish the memories… ‘sharing the laughter and love.'”
Tracey Gold, who played the middle daughter, Carol, tweeted a shot of Thicke and her real-life son, saying, “I just can’t find the words right now.”
I just can't find the words right now. pic.twitter.com/vM28SLy9Rb
— Tracey Gold (@TheTraceyGold) December 14, 2016
In a since-deleted tweet, Ashley Johnson, who played youngest daughter Chrissy, wrote: “There is a sacredness in tears…They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
Meanwhile, Thicke’s real-life sons posted emotional messages as well.
In a statement posted on Instagram, singer Robin Thicke, Alan’s middle son, wrote: “My father passed away today. He was the best man I ever knew. The best friend I ever had. Let’s all rejoice and celebrate the joy he brought to every room he was in. We love you Alan Thicke. Thank you for your love. Love, your grateful son.”
Carter, who was with his father when he died, 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.”
Today I lost my best friend and my idol, and the world lost one of it's finest. You are a legend and I love you Pops. Until next time. pic.twitter.com/ZQd2NZMTx4
— Carter Thicke (@CarterThicke) December 14, 2016
See more tributes to Thicke here.