Alan Thicke, 69, the 1980s television star best known as the patriarch on ABC's

Growing Pains

, died Tuesday, his publicist confirmed.

TMZ, the first to report the news, said the actor had a heart attack Tuesday afternoon and was taken to a hospital in Burbank, Calif., where he was pronounced dead. His publicist, who characterized his death as "sudden," declined to release any further information.

While Mr. Thicke was most famous for playing Jason Seaver on Growing Pains, the Canada native had an extensive resumé. In 1980, he hosted a Canadian daytime talk show called The Alan Thicke Show, which he parlayed into a short-lived U.S. talk show, Thicke of the Night.

Mr. Thicke appeared in a wide variety of shows over the years, including Married ... With Children, The Love Boat, and The Bold and the Beautiful. He had several guest spots on How I Met Your Mother, where he played up his Canadian roots, and recently appeared on This Is Us and Fuller House.

The Thicke family was seen on Unusually Thicke, a recent mockumentary starring Mr. Thicke on the Pop TV network.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of Alan's passing," said Brad Schwartz, president of Pop TV. "He was a part of our Pop family and was a tremendous talent. He was also, for all who knew him, an amazing father and a true gentleman. We had the privilege to work with 'America's Favorite Dad' and his loss is one that is deeply felt."

Mr. Thicke was a much-loved figure in Hollywood. As word spread of his death Tuesday night, many celebrities and former colleagues immediately posted tributes on social media.

Mr. Thicke is survived by his wife, Tanya Callau, and sons Carter, Brennan and Robin, a pop music star.