In the late 1980’s, Americans huddled around their TV to catch up with the well-loved Seaver family on the wholesome, coming of age family sitcom, Growing Pains. The main casts Dr. and Mrs. Seaver took care of their three children Mike, Carol, Ben and later a fourth, Chrissy in their home at 15 Robin Hood Lane in Long Island, New York.
The family grew up on TV for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992 and viewers nationwide followed them as they faced all of the life’s challenges that were thrown in along the way. Here is another look at the beloved sitcom to make you feel like you and the Seavers still got each other. Read on to find out how the cast turned to be, how two cast members fell in love on set, and how the cast has paid tribute to Alan Thicke.
12. Alan Thicke as Dr. Jason Seaver
The father of the Seaver family was Dr. Jason Seaver, who was a psychiatrist worked out of his home and took care of the kids while his wife was at work. Dr. Seaver was played by Canadian actor Alan Thicke. Alan Thicke was not the original choice for the role of Dr. Seaver, as the producers originally wanted Bruce Willis. Since he didn’t work out, Alan won the role since no one else fit the bill.
Sadly, on Dec. 13, 2016, Alan Thicke suffered a heart attack at age 69 while playing hockey with his teenage son Carter. Tributes from friends, family, and co-stars poured in after the actor’s passing. “My Father passed away today,” shared Robert Thicke in an Instagram post. “He was the best man I ever knew. The best friend I ever had. Let’s all rejoice and celebrate the joy he brought to every room he was in. We love you, Alan Thicke. Thank you for your love. Love, your grateful son.”
11. Joanna Kerns as Maggie Seaver
Maggie Seaver was the mother of the Seaver family. At the beginning of the show, she was going back to her career as a journalist, leaving her husband to take care of the house while she was away. Maggie Seaver was played by actress Joanna Kerns. Joanna pursued acting after she dropped out of college and moved to New York City.
She starred in minor TV roles before landing the role of Maggie Seaver in 1984. After Growing Pains, she appeared in some TV movies along with big-screen roles. The actress has now largely shifted on to behind-the-camera work, with directing stints including episodes of Pretty Little Liars, Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
10. Kirk Cameron as Mike Seaver
Mike Seaver was the eldest of the Seaver children and was known for being a ladies’ man and sometimes dim-witted. The role was played by actor Kirk Cameron. He started acting at the age of 9 when he was in a commercial for a breakfast cereal.
Since then he started to appear on different shows and films before finally being cast on Growing Pains in 1985. Kirk Cameron was said to have landed the role because he seemed kind of ditzy. After his audition, one of the producers told the other, “He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he sounds like Mike.” Despite the criticism he won the role and soared into popularity, becoming a teen heartthrob of the 1980s.
Today, Kirk’s entertainment work is based on his Christian faith. He’s appeared in films with religious themes including Saving Christmas, Fireproof and the Left Behind series. Kirk Cameron has been married to Chelsea Noble, who played his girlfriend Kate on Growing Pains, since 1991; together, they have six children.
9. Tracey Gold as Carol Seaver
Carol Seaver was the second eldest Seaver child and for a time, the only daughter. She was known to be book smart and was an honor student. The bookish teen was played by actress Tracey Gold. Tracey had been acting since the age of 4 in several TV shows and films.
Although she auditioned for the role of Carol Seaver in 1985, she was not the first choice. Producers originally cast actress Elizabeth Ward, but since test audiences did not like her in that role, producers called Tracey Gold back to audition again and she immediately took over.
She battled anorexia as a young actress even while the sitcom was running, but eventually recovered and wrote about her struggles in a 2003 memoir. She’s been scoring TV and movie appearances since finishing Growing Pains and has bagged hosting gigs on GSN Live and Secret Life of a Soccer Mom.