The late Alan Thicke was fondly remembered by friends and family at a memorial service, US Magazine is reporting.
The memorial service which took place at the home he shared with his wife, Tanya Callau in Carpinteria, California, near Santa Barbara had over 300 guests in attendance. The star-studded ensemble included Leonardo DiCaprio, Alex Trebek, Bill Maher, Kris Jenner, Bob Saget, O’Neal McKnight, Rob Lowe and the entire cast of Growing Pains. His 91-year-old father, William Jeffrey, was also there.
The attendees filled a tent pitched on an expansive lawn to celebrate the life of the Growing Pains actor who died at the age of 69. The memorial service included emotional speeches, a comedy skit and impressions of the Canadian-born TV host, writer and composer.
Each guest’s plate carried a card and a different and enthralling quote from the deceased actor. There was also a DJ belting Alan Thicke’s favorite tunes, mainly 70s classic rock and hits from Bruce Springsteen. A source said that it was a celebration of his life and not a time to gather around and cry. The insider said that was how Alan would have wanted it to be.
“The mood was very upbeat; it was more like fun Vanity Fair Oscars party than a memorial. All of the speeches were fun and full of life. It was just the way Alan would have wanted it, more of a celebration of his life. Everyone was expressing how much they love him…it was truly amazing and straight out of scene from a Hollywood movie.”
Alan’s son, Robin Thicke, was the emcee at the event and did impressions of his late father all through the memorial service. At one point, the Blurred Lines singer had jokingly thanked his ex-wives for turning up. The 69-year-old was previously married to Gina Tolleson and Robin’s mother, Gloria Loring.
“I’m Alan Thicke and this is exactly the way I want to go out…I’d like to thank all of my ex-wives for coming.”
Trebek had given a lengthy speech about his 42-year-old friendship with Alan Thicke, which began in Toronto. According to him, it was Alan that helped him land his first gig. On his own part, Saget did a profanity-laden 10-minute comedy sketch about why Alan was a ladies’ man. During his performance, he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a Thicke of the Night shirt that Alan had given him.
DiCaprio joined the Growing Pains family in its final season. He was still a relatively unknown actor, but recalled that Alan pulled some strings to ensure that he got the part on the sitcom. The 69-year-old had allegedly told executives “this kid is going to be huge.”
Leonardo also took to his personal Facebook page to pay tribute to the veteran actor, describing him as a “devoted father, husband, friend and role model.” The Wolf of Wall Street actor said Thicke had an early influence on his career for which he would remain eternally grateful.
Read Leonardo DiCaprio's moving reflection on his early 'Growing Pains' TV dad Alan Thicke https://t.co/GiiLl4xsNQ— TIME (@TIME) December 16, 2016
“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.”
According to the Daily Mail, Thicke was a well-known actor in Canada before he made a name in the United States as Dr. Jason Seaver in the ABC series Growing Pains. The series aired from 1985 to 1992. Thicke played the all-knowing father who moved his practice into his home so that his wife could go back to work.
He died of a heart attack on Thursday while playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter. A lifelong hockey fan and player, the veteran actor once described Ontario as the birthplace of hockey stars where “kids skated out of the delivery room and mothers owned a hockey stick.”
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/AP Images]