Alan Thicke's 'Growing Pains' Wife Joanna Kerns Recalls Touching Memory
Now, Joanna Kerns, the late actor’s on-screen wife in his iconic series Growing Pains, is opening up about the first time she met Alan and what he has taught her.
“I met Alan for the first time as we walked down the long hallway at ABC to audition for Growing Pains,” Joanna told Entertainment Weekly. “We were in similar places. My first marriage was falling apart, and he was in the middle of a divorce. We both had young kids, both had recently canceled shows, so we needed this one to work.”
“We talked as we walked,” she went on. “He made me laugh. A little flirting was going on, as it always was with Alan… with everybody!”
Click inside to read the rest of Joanna’s tribute…
“Alan was my biggest supporter, and we truly loved and trusted each other,” she added. “When I wanted to move from acting to directing, I asked his advice because he was a major writer-producer, the Emmy-nominated star of a Canadian talk show. And without a second thought, he said, ‘Well, you’re old…but you’d make a great director. You’re opinionated, stubborn, strong, and you love telling everyone what to do.’ Then he smiled. That was Alan. He was snarky but direct. Outside of my husband, he was probably the most supportive guy I’ve ever known. He knew so many people and touched so many lives. You know the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? With Alan, it was actually three. Maybe two.”
“Alan had this way about him,” Joanna continued. “He was handsome, cocky, and fiercely intelligent, but he was no saint. That was what made him so much fun. He lived to connect with people, and even more important, he loved to make them laugh. He was happiest when he could perform. It’s very hard to have a self-deprecating humor about the silliness in yourself, but he could do it better than anybody. He was oddly humble because he did not really consider himself a great actor. He often said, ‘I’m a master of B talent. I can do a little bit of everything.’ It didn’t matter where: cruise ships, shopping malls, used-car lots. If you wanted an emcee, no one was better or worked harder at making the event fun. I admired him for that.”
“Growing Pains was a gift,” she finished. “It lifted us both out of insecurity and changed my life forever. Best of all, it introduced me to Alan. He was my mentor and friend, and I loved him.”