Paula Patton Mourns Alan Thicke On Instagram & Shows How Close They Still Were

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As Hollywood continues to mourn the loss of one of TV's favorite dads, actor Paula Patton paid tribute to the Alan Thicke, who she knew as her former father-in-law. The Déjà Vu star posted a photo of Thicke on Instagram along with a heartfelt caption of the man she said she "loved and respected." Thicke died of a fatal heart attack at age 69 on Dec. 13. Patton, who was married to Thicke's R&B singer son Robin Thicke for almost nine years, had known the actor for most of her life.

She and Robin met when they were teenagers in 1993 and dated throughout the '90s and '00s until they wed in 2005. The former couple also share a 6-year-old son named Julian. According to Patton's Instagram, Julian believes his grandfather is "still here with us in spirit."

While the Jumping the Broom actor noted that Thicke "had a tremendous effect" on her life, Robin referred to his father as "the best man I ever knew. The best friend I ever had" via his own Instagram posted soon after his father's death. While it may have taken a couple of days for Patton to speak directly about Thicke's death, on the day he died she tweeted a quote from Mother Teresa alluding to the trials and tribulations of life:

Although Patton and Robin are no longer together, it's heartwarming to see that there is still a mutual respect between them. Thicke's smile is surely showing on them from up above.