Alan Thicke’s ‘Growing Pains’ Wife Joanna Kerns Writes Emotional Tribute: ‘I Am Devastated’

Loving memories. Joanna Kerns, who played Alan Thicke's wife on Growing Pains, paid tribute to her former TV husband in an emotional statement on Wednesday, December 14.

"I loved Al," Kerns, 63, wrote in a statement to Too Fab. "I called him Al because it really bugged him. He thought it sounded like an old man's name. He hated it, but the cast loved it and unfortunately for him, it stuck."

Alan Thicke's TV Wife Joanna Kerns Writes Emotional Tribute
Joanna Kearns and Alan Thicke in September 2013. George Pimentel/Getty Images

"Alan loved everything youthful: women, sports, music and above all, his beautiful and talented sons, Brennan, Robin and Carter," she continued. "Alan was a true and loyal friend. As Maggie and Jason Seaver, we experienced more than a life-changing success together. When you pretend to love someone day after day, year after year, you see all their faults and foibles and learn to accept them as they are, separate from you, and there is a connection that happens that is hard to explain. I had that with Alan. Maybe that's what marriage should be, the ability to love without judgment and the strength to remain separate."

As Us Weekly previously reported, Thicke, 69, died suddenly on Tuesday, December 13, after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with his son Carter.

"I am devastated by Alan's passing and will be for some time," Kerns wrote. "I used to joke, before I met my real husband, Marc, that Alan was my favorite daytime husband. At work we laughed all day, everyday at things Alan would come up with, usually at my expense. It was fun. Alan was fun and we all loved teasing each other. Alan kept me calm and when I'd start to get upset about something silly, he would set things straight, give me a big hug and very gently say, 'Maggie … don't be an asshole.'"

"There was a sweetness and kindness to his humor. No one could make fun of Alan better than Alan. As an actor, that is a gift, and I truly believe he was underrated," she added. "So here's to my dear friend Al, may you rest in peace and may your angels be youthful, tall, buxom and witty. May they also be as gorgeous as all of your wives and as generous and clever as you."

Thicke's Growing Pains costars Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold also shared heartfelt tributes to the Canadian-born star. Their sentiments were echoed by several Hollywood stars who knew and worked with the musician turned actor, including Leonardo DiCaprio, who played a homeless teen on the sitcom for two years until the series ended in 1992.

"I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work with Alan early in my career," DiCaprio wrote in a Facebook post. "He had tremendous class, a huge heart, and he taught me and so many others the valuable lessons about humility and gratitude."

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