The Growing Pains star recently appeared on the pilot of NBC’s fall hit This Is Us alongside actor Justin Hartley, who paid tribute to Thicke on Instagram following news of Thicke’s fatal heart attack while playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter. Hartley reflected on his admiration for the TV star as a child and his gratitude for getting to share the screen with Thicke.
“I grew up watching and loving Alan Thicke on television and was lucky enough to get to work with him recently,” Hartley captioned a photo of the duo on the show’s set. “We became friends. What a great talent and a wonderful spirit. He will be missed by all of us. Rest in peace.”
The 39-year-old actor shared the same photo with a different message on Twitter.
“When you meet one of your idols and they are even nicer and cooler than you hoped they would be. That was @Alan_Thicke,” he said. “Rest in peace.”
On This Is Us, Thicke made a cameo as himself playing estranged dad of the main character on the show’s fictional sitcom, The Man-ny. In the scene, Kevin Pearson (Hartley’s character and star of The Manny) has a meltdown in front of a live audience and quits the show.
“Great working with you, man, I’m a huge fan,” Pearson said to Thicke as he exited the stage.
“Yeah … that was a lot of fun,” Thicke replied, not so enthusiastically.
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman also mourned the loss of Thicke.
“I was so saddened to hear about the passing of Alan Thicke,” Fogelman said in a statement to EW. “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.”