The cast of “Growing Pains” is lamenting the death of their patriarch Alan Thicke.
“We’re just missing Alan. He always had us laughing, had me laughing,” Joanna Kerns, who played Maggie, said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in recognition of the show’s 35th anniversary.
“He was one of the most charming men I’d ever met,” she said. “I think I was a little old for him … But we became really good friends. I saw him a week before he passed.”
Thicke played the role of Seaver family headman Dr. Jason Seaver on the beloved sitcom and Jeremy Miller, who portrayed Ben, said he constantly longs to hear Thicke’s voice nearly four years after his death in Dec. 2016 at age 69.
Thicke collapsed while playing hockey with his youngest son at the Pickwick Gardens ice skating rink in Burbank, Calif. He later died at the hospital after his aorta artery tore then ruptured.
“It’s been years now and I still reach for the phone occasionally, just thinking, ‘I haven’t talked to Alan in a while and want to say hi,’” said Miller. “He was a huge part of our lives.”
“Growing Pains” debuted its first episode on Sept. 24, 1985, before it would go on its seven-season run, airing 166 episodes in the process.
The cast came together in a virtual reunion for the special occasion and to recollect on their favorite memories from the set.
“It always felt like I was coming to my second family when we were on the set,” Kirk Cameron said of his time on the series, adding that Thicke often gave him advice on how to go about approaching the ladies – including Cameron’s now-wife Chelsea Noble.
“I knew that I had to talk to Chelsea before he talked to Chelsea,” he quipped. “And I’m really glad that I did. It worked out really well for me personally, and here we are 29 years later with six kids.”
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