After the show was cancelled, Loring and Thicke divorced after 14 years and he took custody of their sons Brennan and Robin, who were 11 and 9 at the time.
He was talented, amusing and deeply devoted to his family", wrote Loring, who shares two sons with Thicke: "the pop singer Robin Thicke, 39, and Brennan, 41.
Even all these years later, it's fantastic to see the 42-year-old hasn't forgotten his GP roots or his former castmates.
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 1947, Thicke's show-business career began on Canadian television, hosting a Montreal-based talk show called First Impressions in the 1970s. You are a legend and I love you Pops.
"He had tremendous class, a huge heart, and he taught me and so many others the valuable lessons about humility and gratitude." said DiCaprio who starred alongside Thicke in the final season of "Growing Pains" from 1991-1992.
"I'm in shock", Mapes told the Daily News of Thicke's unexpected passing.
Just after he finished his stint as a writer for the short-lived comedy talk show Fernwood 2-Night (a show ahead of its time, as it was, essentially, The Daily Show), Thicke wrote the theme songs for Wheel of Fortune, The Facts of Life, and Diff'rent Strokes.
"He had Carter take a picture of him and said, "Make sure you get the rink in the background" as they were taking him out of here", Darin Mathewson told ET. "I miss him already". "But the one thing I've always done well at, and I'm most devoted, to is my children".
"After a few years at the CBC, when I finally decided that maybe I would try my luck in the L.A. market, I was able to go down there with a portfolio of experience in a lot of different areas". "He frequently attended games, and was with us as recently as September's World Cup".
As a result of his prominence on daytime TV in Canada early in his career, Thicke also came to be longtime friends with Kings and Edmonton Oilers great Wayne Gretzky, and acted as MC at Gretzky's wedding to Janet Jones. "We had the privilege to work with America's Favorite Dad and his loss is one that is deeply felt".