From one Canadian legend to another, Bill Brady had fond memories of his time with Alan Thicke.
Actor and television theme song composer Alan Thicke died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 69, Tuesday, prompting a flood of tributes and accolades from friends and colleagues of the former TV dad.
Decades before Thicke took on the role of Jason Seaver in Growing Pains, however, he was a copywriter for longtime CFPL-AM/AM980 host Bill Brady, and also hosted overnights at the station.
Brady said he was “in shock” by the news of Thicke’s passing.
“He seemed to be well, and he had so many plans to go forward,” he said. “His life’s been cut short. At 69, I’m sure he had another dozen years to spend as an entertainer. And he was multi-talented. He could do it all…. He’ll be missed be the entire entertainment business and by many of his friends. He was a very special Canadian performer of whom we were all very proud.”
In many respects, it was Brady who discovered Thicke after spotting him performing in a talent competition and noting his “great many skills,” the broadcaster noted, speaking with AM980’s Craig Needles.
“He was an incredible individual,” Brady said. “An interesting character…over the years, from those early beginnings when he was at Western and spending time at our house and bringing girlfriends–including a woman he married, his first wife, Gloria Loring.”
Brady kept in touch with Thicke over the years, exchanging Christmas cards annually and getting together for lunch during the latter’s most recent visit to London in September, when he was a guest and speaker at Comic Con.
“He loved London,” Brady said. “He brought his son, Carter, up to look at the campus and hoped Carter would choose Western… He loved London and he loved to come back. And he was very faithful to his alma mater, Western.”
Thick’s work at this radio station took place while he was a student at Western University, from which he graduated in 1967. He was also an active member of the school’s Delta Upsilon fraternity, which posted condolences for Thicke on Instagram Wednesday morning.
“As an honoured alumnus of our chapter, our active members and alumni across North America join in solemn reflection on his life and outstanding achievements,” the statement read. “While our newer members will no longer have the distinct pleasure and privilege of meeting this outspoken character, he will be forever immortalized through the preservation of his legacy.”
The Western chapter announced it would be creating a scholarship, the Alan Thicke Scholarship of Excellence, in the late actor’s honour, later this year.