Stunned Canadians are coming together on social media to mourn the sudden death of Alan Thicke, a homegrown star whose legend will only grow on news he died on Tuesday (Dec. 13) playing hockey in Los Angeles with his son.
“He was one of the good guys in Hollywood. We’ll miss u on the ice!,” a saddened Jason Priestley of Beverly Hills 90210 fame said in praise of Thicke on his Twitter account. The Canadian-born entertainer, an NHL fanatic and all-round sports fan, was also remembered for naming one of his three sons after two baseball legends, former Toronto Blue Jays player Joe Carter, and ex-Montreal Expos player Gary Carter.
“Alan even named his youngest son after me, Carter Thicke. Tonya, Carter, Robin my prayers are with you all,” Blue Jays World Series hero Joe Carter said in a tweet. Canadian songstress Anne Murray on her Twitter account said she was “shocked & devastated at the news of Alan Thicke’s death. A friend for many years, he wrote & produced so many of my TV Specials.”
Other fellow Canadian actors and musicians in their own tributes noted how Thicke had given them a leg up early on in their own careers. “I’m shocked to hear about Alan Thicke. He was a good man who gave me some big breaks in my early days. I’ll miss you buddy,” Howie Mandel wrote on his Twitter account.
Canadian comic legend Russell Peters on his Instagram account recalled his pride being raised in suburban Toronto near to where Alan Thicke’s parents lived. “Growing up in Brampton, I always felt a connection to this man because his father (Dr Thicke) lived in Bramalea Woods and we always thought it was the coolest thing ever that Alan Thicke’s parents lived in my small town!!,” Peters wrote.
“A few years ago I finally met and became friends with Alan and his lovely wife Tanya … I am so saddened, genuinely hurt to hear that my dear friend has passed away … You will be missed sir,” he added.
Canadian politicians also paid tribute to Thicke, with prime minister Justin Trudeau noting the homegrown talent never turned his back on Canada as he made it in Hollywood, and even kept his Canadian passport while living in Hollywood.
“Alan Thicke was proudly Canadian, never forgetting his roots as he soared to stardom. My deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the Canadian leader said in a tweet. “Canada has lost one of its great actors. My condolences to the family and loved ones of Alan Thicke. RIP,” federal heritage minister Melanie Joly, who oversees the country’s cultural industries, said in her own tweet.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.