The late Alan Thicke was remembered by friends and family at a star-studded memorial service on Sunday, December 18, which included a comedy routine, impressions of the actor and emotional speeches.
The memorial took place in the late afternoon at Thicke and his wife Tanya Callau’s home in Carpinteria, California, near Santa Barbara. Around 300 guests, including the entire cast of Growing Pains, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kris Jenner, Bob Saget, Rob Lowe, Alex Trebek, Bill Maher and O’Neal McKnight, filled a tent on the lawn to celebrate Thicke’s life.
Each guest’s plate had a card with a different quote from the Canadian actor. Among those at the head table were Alan’s 91-year-old father, William Jeffrey, and Jenner, who comforted Callau. Meanwhile, DJ Kiss spun all of Alan’s favorite music, including Bruce Springsteen and 70s classic rock.
“The mood was very upbeat, it was more like a fun Vanity Fair Oscars party than a memorial,” an insider tells Us Weekly. "All of the speeches were fun and full of life. It was just the way Alan would have wanted it, more of a celebration of his life. Everyone was expressing how much they love him.”
“It was truly amazing and straight out of a scene from a Hollywood movie,” the attendee adds.
Alan’s son Robin Thicke acted as the emcee for the event and did impressions of his late father throughout the program. At one point, the “Blurred Lines” singer as Alan joked, “I’m Alan Thicke and this is exactly the way I want to go out … I’d like to thank all of my ex-wives for coming.” (The Unusually Thicke star was previously married to Robin’s mother, Gloria Loring, and Gina Tolleson, who both attended.)
Some other surprising parts of the program included Saget’s raunchy, expletive-filled 10-minute comedy routine about Alan’s ladies' man status; At one point, Maher unbuttoned his shirt in the middle of his speech to reveal a Thicke of the Night T-shirt that Alan once gave to him.
Trebek also gave a long speech about his 42-year friendship with Alan, which began when they were young in Toronto. He recalled how the showbiz veteran helped him get his start in Hollywood by hiring him for his first game show. Although that show didn’t work out, Trebek said he would have never gotten his Jeopardy! gig if it weren’t for his close pal’s support.
DiCaprio, who joined Growing Pains in its final season as a relatively unknown actor, gave a heartfelt address as well. He explained that Alan pushed for the sitcom to hire him and that right off the bat Alan said, “This kid is going to be a huge star.” He spoke about how Alan was an “adoptive father” to the entire cast.
As previously reported, Thicke suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter, on December 13. He was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, where he passed away. He was 69. In addition to Sunday’s memorial service, the family is also planning a funeral for the late star.
Loring previously opened up to Us Weekly about the death of her ex-husband, with whom she shared sons Robin and Brennan. "It's deep and it's a profoundly sad wound to our family," Loring tells Us. "Anytime you lose one of the major father-mother figures in a family, it's very hard. And Alan was definitely a big presence in our family. If he entered the room, the party started. He just had a great sense of humor and a wonderful energy. We all loved him."
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