Alan Thicke's TV wife Joanna Kerns pens heartfelt tribute to the late actor: 'I am devastated'


For seven years, Joanna Kerns stood by Alan Thicke's side as his TV wife on Growing Pains. The actors played Maggie and Jason Seaver respectively, and on Wednesday, Kerns released an official statement regarded the untimely death of her beloved co-star.

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE: Inside Alan Thicke's Wedding to Tanya Callau and a Look Back at Their Love Story

"Alan was a true and loyal friend," she wrote. "As Maggie and Jason Seaver, we experienced more than a life-changing success together. When you pretend to love someone day after day, year after year, you see all their faults and foibles and learn to accept them as they are, separate from you, and there is a connection that happens that is hard to explain. I had that with Alan. Maybe that's what marriage should be, the ability to love without judgement and the strength to remain separate."

Kerns reflected on her special nickname for the actor, saying, "I loved Al. I called him Al because it really bugged him. He thought it sounded like an old man's name. He hated it, but the cast loved it and unfortunately for him, it stuck."

See photos of Alan Thicke on "Growing Pains":
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Alan Thicke on 'Growing Pains'
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Alan Thicke on 'Growing Pains'

GROWING PAINS - 'Ben's First Kiss' - Airdate: December 7, 1988.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - Gallery - Shoot Date: October 14, 1987.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'B=MC2' - Airdate: November 30, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'There Must Be a Pony' - Airdate: November 2, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

'There Must Be a Pony' - Season Seven - 11/2/91

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'The Big Fix' - Airdate: November 9, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'Jason Sings the Blues' - Airdate: October 19, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'The Kid's Still Got It' - Airdate: October 26, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'Paper Tigers' - Airdate: October 5, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Stop, Luke and Listen' - Airdate: September 25, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Happy Halloween' - Airdate: October 31, 1990.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - Gallery - Shoot Date: September 28, 1991.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Happy Halloween' - Airdate: October 31, 1990.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'The New Deal - Part I' - Airdate: November 8, 1989.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Future Shock' (a.k.a., 'Maggie's Dream') - Airdate: February 21, 1990.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' - Airdate: November 16, 1988.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Birth of a Seaver' - Airdate: October 26, 1988.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Family Ties' - Airdate: November 2, 1988.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'This is Your Life' - Airdate: November 17, 1987.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Big Brother's Not Watching' - Shoot Date: June 5, 1987.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'Aloha' - Airdate: September 18, 1987.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

GROWING PAINS - 'Jason and the Cruisers' - Airdate: September 30, 1986.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - 'Charity Begins in the Home' - Airdate: February 18, 1986.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - Pilot - Airdate: September 24, 1985.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - Gallery - Shoot Date: November 20, 1985.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

GROWING PAINS - Gallery - Shoot Date: July 22, 1985.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

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She also reflected on Thicke, the man, adding, "Alan loved everything youthful: women, sports, music, and above all, his beautiful and talented sons, Brennan, Robin, and Carter... There was a sweetness and kindness to his humor. No one could make fun of Alan better than Alan. As an actor, that is a gift, and I truly believe he was underrated."

Both stars appeared in all seven seasons of the hit sitcom, alongside Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, and even Leonardo DiCaprio. Kerns still looks back on the experience fondly.

WATCH: Leonardo DiCaprio Remembers 'Growing Pains' Co-Star Alan Thicke: 'No One Was Cooler'

"I am devastated by Alan's passing and will be for some time," she wrote. "I used to joke, before I met my real husband, Marc, that Alan was my favorite daytime husband. At work we laughed all day, everyday at things Alan would come up with, usually at my expense. It was fun. Alan was fun and we all loved teasing each other. Alan kept me calm and when I'd start to get upset about something silly, he would set things straight, give me a big hug and very gently say, 'Maggie... don't be an a**hole.'"

Thicke passed away on Tuesday at the age of 69 after suffering a heart attack. For more on his passing, watch the clip below.


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