Love and history. Joanna Kerns, who played Alan Thicke’s wife on Growing Pains, released an emotional statement this week following the actor’s sudden death on Tuesday, December 13.
The actress, who worked with Thicke on the show from 1985 to 1992, reflected back on her memories with the beloved actor and how their on-screen bond formed into a real-life friendship.
“I loved Al,” Kerns, 63, shared in a statement on Wednesday night. “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.”
Kerns recalled some of her favorite characteristics about Thicke. “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,” she recalled. “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,” she reflected. “The ability to love without judgment and the strength to remain separate.”
Thicke passed away at age 69, after suffering a heart attack.
“I am devastated by Alan’s passing and will be for some time. I used to joke, before I met my real husband, Marc, that Alan was my favorite daytime husband,” Kerns continued. “At work we laughed all day, everyday at things Alan would come up with, usually at my expense. It was fun. Alan was fun and we all loved teasing each other. Alan kept me calm and when I’d start to get upset about something silly, he would set things straight, give me a big hug and very gently say, ‘Maggie … don’t be an asshole.’”
“There was a sweetness and kindness to his humor. No one could make fun of Alan better than Alan. As an actor, that is a gift, and I truly believe he was underrated,” she concluded. “So here’s to my dear friend Al, may you rest in peace and may your angels be youthful, tall, buxom and witty. May they also be as gorgeous as all of your wives and as generous and clever as you.”