Genial TV pro Alan Thicke died this week at age 69. Lodged into America’s cultural memory as the quintessential suburban TV Dad for his role as Jason Seaver in the 80s hit Growing Pains, Thicke was known to pop up and lend star power to various projects through the years. He became so well-known that he played himself on How I Met Your Mother.
Thicke last appeared before a giant audience playing himself as an actor in a sitcom in NBC’s smash hit This Is Us. Thicke played a wise old star who dished wisdom to the young actor played by Justin Hartley, who is conflicted about pursuing his art while simultaneously pursuing commercial success in Hollywood. Thicke’s seen-it-all grace made the scene — a scene that was critical to the breakout success of This Is Us. It’s hard to think of another actor who could have done it better. Sometimes, as casting directors discovered often enough for decades, you really just need an Alan Thicke. Rest in peace, Mr. Seaver.
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— Justin Hartley (@justinhartley) December 14, 2016