Alan Thicke had quite the career in front of the camera, most recently popping up on This Is Us and Fuller House, but the beloved sitcom dad also had a hand in things behind the camera, namely writing some of TV’s most beloved theme songs.
In the 1980s, Thicke, who passed away from a heart attack at 69 on Tuesday, Dec. 13, helped create a number of iconic TV theme songs, most notably the opening numbers for The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.
“It Takes Diff’rent Strokes,” the theme song for Diff’rent Strokes, the 1980s comedy starring Gary Coleman, Dana Plato, Todd Bridges and Conrad Bain was composed by Thicke, his then-wife Gloria Loring and Al Burton. Thicke sang on the opening number.
The Facts of Life theme song was composed by Thicke, Loring and Burton. The lyrics to The Facts of Life theme changed over time, the original opening was sung by star Charlotte Rae and her younger costars. Loring would later sing a version.
Thicke also had a hand in the original Wheel of Fortune theme song, The Wizard of Odds, The Joker’s Wild, Celebrity Sweepstakes, The Diamond Head Game, Animal Crack-Ups, Blank Check, Stumpers! and Whew!
Thicke had quite an extensive sitcom career, notably seven seasons as Dr. Jason Seaver on Growing Pains.
“I loved Alan-he was one of the smartest and funniest men I have ever known- we shared a life changing success and friendship,” Thicke’s Growing Pains wife Joanna Kerns tweeted. “Alan made me laugh everyday-usually at myself. Loved you dearly RIP old friend.”
His other TV credits include Married With Children, How I Met Your Mother and his Pop series Unusually Thicke, a reality TV sitcom of sorts. The two-season show starred Thicke, wife Tanya Callau and son Carter Thicke.