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‘This Is Us’ Creator Reflects on Alan Thicke’s Recent Cameo: ‘He Was an Absolute Joy’

Alan Thicke guest-starred on This Is Us in one of his last roles before his sudden death at age 69 on Tuesday, December 13.

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The NBC freshman drama’s creator, Dan Fogelman, reflected on the Growing Pains alum’s cameo. “I was so saddened to hear about the passing of Alan Thicke,” Fogelman said in a statement to Us Weekly. “It feels like just yesterday he joined us on the pilot of This Is Us — he was an absolute joy to work with and hang out with, both on and off camera. I know I speak for the entire This Is Us family as we send deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.”

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Thicke played himself on This Is Us’ pilot episode. In a scene of a show within the show, Kevin (Justin Hartley) is starring on a fictional sitcom opposite Thicke and nails his lines in a serious take. Kevin is later told that he must reshoot a more lighthearted, shirtless version, causing him to have a meltdown and quit.

Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke on ‘This Is Us.’

Hartley, 39, also took to Twitter Wednesday to pay tribute to the late actor. “When you meet one of your idols and they are even nicer and cooler than you hoped they would be. That was @Alan_Thicke. Rest in peace,” he tweeted alongside a photo of the pair together on set.

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The Revenge actor shared the same photo on Instagram with a different message, writing, “I grew up watching and loving Alan Thicke on television and was lucky enough to get to work with him recently. We became friends. What a great talent and a wonderful spirit. He will be missed by all of us. Rest in peace.”

As previously reported, the Unusually Thicke star was playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter, at an ice rink in Burbank, California, on Tuesday when he suffered a heart attack. Although he was “coherent” and talking after collapsing, according to an onlooker, he passed away shortly after at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Thicke is survived by his wife, Tanya Thicke; his sons, singer Robin Thicke, Brennan Thicke and Carter Thicke; and his grandsons, Julian and Tyler. He was previously married to Gloria Loring and Gina Tolleson

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