Diabetes was one of Alan Thicke’s charitable causes, that was down to his son’s battle with the condition. Brennan Thicke was the actor’s oldest son. He was born to Alan and his first wife, soap star Gloria Loring. Singer Robin Thicke is Brennan’s full brother while the pair has a half-brother, Carter. TMZ reported that Alan Thicke died after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with Carter on December 13. He was 69 years old.
Here’s what you need to know about Alan’s oldest son:
1. His Parents Learned That Brennan Had Diabetes While on a Family Vacation in 1980
In an October 2010 profile, Alan Thicke opened up about his son’s diabetes diagnosis. He discussed learning that his son had the condition while on a family trip to Ontario in 1980. It was Alan’s stepmother, a nurse, who first opined that Brennan had diabetes. Alan Thicke said:
She’s a nurse and told us his symptoms were those of diabetes. Those words hit us like a ton of bricks; we worried the rest of the day… We went right to Children’s Hospital, where Brennan spent the next eight days getting his blood sugar and insulin levels under control.
At one point, Brennan became rebellious and refused to take shots. Alan said that his son became able to deal with his condition as time went on. The late actor said his son “realized we were a team.”
Despite being an “over-protective” father, Alan said, “Brennan became aware, perhaps earlier in life than most, of his mortality, so he takes advantage of every moment and lives life to the fullest.”
Since the diagnosis both Alan Thicke and his ex-wife, Gloria Loring, have raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
2. He Was an Award Winning Voice Over Actor But Retired From Show Business in 1988
According to his IMDb page, Brennan was an award nominated voice actor in his teenage years. He retired from show business in 1988. Brennan is most famous for working on the cult Saturday morning cartoon, M.A.S.K., here he voiced the character of Scott Trakker. That performance earned him a nomination for a 1986 Young Artist award, says fansite Agents of M.A.S.K.
The blog adds that Brennan was nominated again in 1987 for voicing Dennis in the animated Dennis the Menace show. That show was written by his uncle, TV guru Todd Thicke. Later, Brennan would also end up in his family reality show, Unusually Thicke.
3. Brennan Now Runs a Marijuana Dispensary in California
Since leaving show business, Brennan has ventured into operating a non-profit marijuana dispensary, the Venice Beach Care Center in Culver City, California. The group’s website describes itself as:
A consumer collective organization formed to donate and exchange labor, materials, money, and knowledge to assist the ill and disabled in cultivating, receiving, consuming, and trading medical cannabis.
During an interview with TV Guide, Alan talked about his son’s profession:
Brennan owns a medical marijuana dispensary, a cannabis shop. It’s completely legal. The challenge is the great hypocrisy of how do you support one kid’s business while at the same time telling the other one not to smoke weed? We do a whole episode about that.
On his LinkedIn page, Brennan says he opened the dispensary in November 2006. He has recieved a “Certificate of Appreciation 2 years in a row from Los Angeles City Council Member Bill Rosendahl.”
4. He Also Serves as the Chief Financial Officer of His Wife’s Vintage Wedding Dress Empire
In addition to his work with the Venice Beach Care Center, Brennan is also the Chief Financial Officer for his wife’s, Dolly Thicke’s, vintage wedding dress empire, Dolly Couture. The label has stores in New York City and California.
On their Facebook page, the business says it was founded after Dolly couldn’t find a “cocktail-length wedding dress” for her wedding to Brennan.
Dolly Thicke modeled her own designs at the launch of the label in 2006.
The couple was married in 2007. Hours after news of Alan Thicke’s passing was announced, Dolly Thicke set her mood as “feeling devastated” on Facebook.
The couple has one son, Tyler, together and lives in Tarzana, California.
5. He Briefly Ventured Into the Music Business to Write a Song for Former NKOTB Star Jordan Knight
In 1999, after famed boyband New Kids on the Block had split, singer Jordan Knight attempted to go solo. To help, Brennan ventured into the music business and with his brother Robin, the pair scripted Knight’s song “Separate Ways.” Judging by his lack of follow-up songs, Brennan evidently has left music to his younger brother.