News that actor Alan Thicke passed away of a heart attack in Los Angeles Tuesday came as a shock to pretty much everyone. Not just because the iconic actor — who was perhaps best known for playing TV dad Dr. Jason Seaver on Growing Pains — was only 69 years old, but also because he literally just appeared on our collective screens recently during a guest appearance on Netflix's Fuller House. In the episode, Thicke played DJ Tanner's much older (and hilarious) blind date, according to People.
Thicke was a great addition to the cast, and now that he's gone, fans are wondering if they might see him onscreen again. Did Alan Thicke film Fuller House season 3? No one has commented on whether Thicke was expected to reappear in the Netflix series, but it's unlikely that anything was finalized, let alone filmed: even though Fuller House is expected to be picked up for another season, a third season of the show has yet to be confirmed, according to Netflix Life. But judging by the reaction of a number of Full House and Fuller House cast members, many of whom had known him for many years and who had worked with him before, Thicke was well-loved and will definitely be missed.
Although Thicke's Fuller House cameo was only the second time he and Candace Cameron Bure had worked together on-screen (the first, according to Entertainment Tonight, was in the Hallmark Channel's 2013 movie, Let It Snow), it turns out they had actually known each other since she was a child. That's because Bure's older brother, Kirk Cameron, played Thicke's son Mike Seaver on Growing Pains in the '80s and early '90s. In an Instagram post Tuesday, Bure wrote that she considered him a part of her family:
In the post caption, Bure wrote that she was "sad beyond words," to hear of Thicke's passing — a sentiment that many of her co-stars also shared. Bure's own TV dad, Bob Saget, posted his own tribute to Thicke on Twitter, and wrote that the actor was "such a good husband, father, brother, and friend." Full House alum Dave Coulier also posted about the actor's passing, sharing a memory of the two of them dressed as Mounties for a comedy sketch. Coulier wrote, "RIP Alan Thicke. We skated side by side for years. Say hello to Gordie and The Rocket for me."
In an Instagram post following the news, Fuller House executive producer Jeff Franklin revealed that he and Thicke had spent time together only a few weeks earlier, and posted a photo of them together, calling Thicke his "great, lovely friend for 35 years."
There's no doubt that Thicke was important to many of the members of the Fuller House family, but his Growing Pains co-stars were also sharing their own sadness following his death. According to Us Weekly, Kirk Cameron followed in his sister's footsteps and posted an Instagram tribute to his on-screen dad, which included a throwback photo of the two actors together from a Growing Pains episode. In the caption, Cameron wrote,
I spent Monday through Friday for seven important years with Alan Thicke as my 'TV dad.' I'm shocked and truly heartbroken today at the news of his death. Alan was a generous, kind and loving man. I am so blessed to have grown up with him. Chelsea and I send our love and prayers to his family tonight. We will cherish the memories... 'sharing the laughter and love.'
Joanna Kerns, who played Thicke's wife Maggie Seaver on Growing Pains, replied to a tweet about Thicke on her Twitter account, and wrote, "Alan made me laugh everyday — usually at myself. Loved you dearly RIP old friend."
As much as television viewers — many who have literally grown up watching Thicke on screen — are mourning his death, there's no doubt that his former co-stars, friends, and family are feeling a particularly difficult loss today. And while Thicke won't be seen again on Fuller House, the fact that he was obviously still enjoying a successful acting career up until his death means that his fans have plenty to look back on now as the reality of his passing sadly settles in.