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Records show Alan Thicke died from rupture of major artery

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/22/2016
FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2010, file photo, Alan and Tanya Thicke pose on the red carpet before Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Tanya Thicke says her husband was laid to rest Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, six days after the actor suffered a fatal heart attack. (AP Photo/Spencer Weiner, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2010, file photo, Alan and Tanya Thicke pose on the red carpet before Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Tanya Thicke says her husband was laid to rest Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, six days after the actor suffered a fatal heart attack. (AP Photo/Spencer Weiner, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alan Thicke died after his aorta artery tore then ruptured last week, according to his death certificate released Wednesday.

FILE - In this Sunday, April 26, 2015 file photo, Alan Thicke poses in the pressroom at the 42nd annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. Alan Thicke's widow, Tanya Thicke, said on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, that the actor was buried the previous day. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sunday, April 26, 2015 file photo, Alan Thicke poses in the pressroom at the 42nd annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. Alan Thicke's widow, Tanya Thicke, said on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, that the actor was buried the previous day. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

The details emerged after the "Growing Pains" star died Dec. 13 at 69. He was buried Monday in Santa Barbara, California.

The Canadian actor had enjoyed a lengthy career on both sides of the border. He also worked as a songwriter and talk show host.

His cause of death was determined by a doctor and no autopsy was performed.

Thicke's aorta ruptured about three hours after it first developed a tear, the death certificate states.

An aortic tear also killed John Ritter in 2003. The aorta is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

Tanya Thicke recalled her "beloved husband, soul mate and the patriarch of our family" in a statement Tuesday.

"It is with gut wrenching sadness and unbelievable grief that I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of love and support during this unimaginable time," she wrote.

In addition to playing Dr. Jason Seaver on "Growing Pains," which aired on ABC from 1985 to 1992, Thicke had guest appearances on shows such as "How I Met Your Mother" and "This Is Us."

Born in Ontario, Canada, he was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his work in the late 1970s as a writer for Barry Manilow's talk show, and later for a satirical take on the genre in the variety show "America 2-Night."

He composed several popular theme songs, including the original theme for "Wheel of Fortune" and other shows including "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes."

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