Sad news just got even sadder: Alan Thicke's cause of death has been confirmed by People. According to the magazine's site, the actor's death certificate states that he suffered from a "ruptured aorta” and a “standard type A aortic dissection." As a quick anatomy refresher, Cedars-Sinai's website explains that the aorta is the largest vessel in the body, which "transports oxygenated blood from the left ventricle of the heart to every organ." It was previously reported that the Growing Pains star had a heart attack while playing hockey with one of his sons, but these additional details make the situation all the more devastating.
Thicke was 69 years old and spent many years in the TV industry — appearing in everything from the aforementioned Growing Pains to How I Met Your Mother. Not only was he a well-known father on television, but he had three sons of his own, including singer Robin Thicke. Robin told the Los Angeles Times, "The good thing was that he was beloved and he had closure ... I saw him a few days ago and told him how much I loved and respected him."
Meanwhile, Thicke's TV son, Leonardo DiCaprio, posted a touching tribute on his Facebook. Here's an excerpt: "I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work with Alan early in my career. He had tremendous class, a huge heart, and he taught me and so many others the valuable lessons about humility and gratitude."
Clearly Thicke will be missed by many. While the additional info about his death doesn't make the tough news any easier, it does add some clarity to the situation. May he rest in peace.