As Hollywood and Canadians alike mourn the loss of Canadian actor Alan Thicke, an Edmonton man who recently co-starred in a film with Thicke is remembering the entertainer as “a great dude, great man, great talent and an icon that I don’t think will ever be forgotten.”
Thicke died at the age of 69 on Tuesday. He was reportedly playing hockey with his son Carter when he had a heart attack.
Watch below: Alan Thicke dead at 69
“I got a phone call from Chris Craddock, the director of the movie that Alan and I were starring in,” Edmonton actor Jesse Lipscombe told Global News Tuesday night.
“He called me and said, ‘Alan Thicke died.’ I obviously was in shock initially, I thought it wasn’t real.”
According to Lipscombe, he had dinner and drinks with Thicke in Whistler, B.C. Just last week when their new movie, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway, made its Canadian premiere.
“It was really nice to see him as it always is,” he said. “My condolences go out to them (Thicke’s kids).”
Thicke was best known for playing the role of television dad Jason Seaver in the family sitcom Growing Pains during the 1980s and 1990s. Lipscombe said both professionally and personally, he’ll always think of Thicke most as a father.
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“The thing that resonates the most and that I remember the most is just him as a dad,” he said. “I grew up watching Growing Pains and I watched his life and his son’s life… I watch him with his kids and the messages he sends and the phone calls that he has and how free he is with his love and singing to his boys.”
Lipscombe said Thicke had been to Edmonton many times over the past three years to work on their movie as well as other projects they collaborated on. He said they became personal friends and that Thicke’s son Carter lived with him for a month while he worked on a project with Alan.
“He loves Edmonton. He’s been here numerous times. Alan Thicke is a big Canadian fan, a big Edmonton fan, a big Oilers fan- I know him and Wayne Gretzky are good friends and he enjoys it here.”
Thicke’s friendship with No. 99 has been well-documented over the years.
Known for his love of both playing and watching hockey, Thicke developed his friendship with Wayne Gretzky during his championship years with the Edmonton Oilers and as a result, visited Alberta’s capital on numerous occasions over the years. In fact, in a tangential way, Thicke was even a part of story of the blockbuster trade that sent Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings and left Oilers fans devastated.
In an interview with Sportsnet published in 2012, Thicke spoke about how The Great One was housesitting for him at his Los Angeles home the night he was traded. According to Thicke, Gretzky and his wife were watching his son Robin, who was 11 at the time.
“So we had to find a substitute nanny instantly, which is not as bad as what Edmonton had to find to replace him,” Thicke told Sportsnet at the time.
After news of Thicke’s death broke Tuesday evening, the Edmonton Oilers tweeted “RIP to one of the great ones, Alan Thicke.”
‘My fondest memories of Alan… there’s so many cause the man is so full of energy, an icon, a legend,” Lipscombe said.
“He could be speaking to an entire auditorium and it feels like he’s just speaking with you.”
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