Alan Thicke Talks Private Planes and Other Perks of the Profession
One has to assume that entertainment industry veteran Alan Thicke is no stranger to luxury living. Amid an esteemed career through which he has earned a Golden Globe “Best Actor” nomination, seven Emmy Award nominations (five for writing, two for acting) and induction to Canada’s Walk of Fame, among other career honors, Thicke has lived an exciting, adventurous and privileged life rife with recognition.
With the success of his popular sitcom reality, Unusually Thicke, having enjoyed its sophomore season on Pop TV in both the United States and Canada, it seems there’s no stopping this enduring actor and entertainer.
I recently connected with Thicke for a conversation about his own luxury lifestyle, and the result reveals a quick-witted man who is surprisingly candid, endearingly self-deprecating and unabashedly opportunistic. For me, his funny and honest responses only reinforce why he’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved personalities. Here’s what he had to say.
TLL: What does the word “luxury” mean to you?
AT: To me, the ultimate luxury is a private plane. Many of us in the industry can be talked into appearing anywhere, anytime, for any purpose as long as there is a G7—or gee—anything involved. We are known as “charter sluts.”
TLL: What items or experiences do you love to splurge on?
AT: I tend to splurge on additions to my house…new rooms, furnishings, TVs and gadgets, rather than clothes or automobiles (although I completely enjoy the luxury of having a talking car…Hasselhoff was way ahead of his time). Voice activation for phone calls, navigation, and music are sure measures of evolution in our civilization. I am fortunate to have a wardrobe stylist for film and TV appearances who picks things out and makes sure they fit. That way my internal fashion sense can remain stuck in 1987 but I can still rock it when I go out. Actors are lucky to be frequently gifted with free stuff on the red carpet and I keep it whether I need it or not. A hoarder. A “swag whore” to complement my “charter slut” persona. Perhaps there is a thread there.
TLL: Where is your favorite travel destination?
AT: My favorite travel destinations include Muskoka, Vancouver Island, Montreal, Las Vegas, New Orleans…and any beach in the Caribbean. Or Cabo! I tend to prefer solitude, sunshine, and relaxation when I have elective time. When I was younger I made a point of visiting every museum, fort and Cathedral in every city I visited. Now I’ll take a palm tree and a piña colada.
I have always relished sharing my travel opportunities with family, especially my children. Robin Leach, in his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” hay day, was always generous enough—when I begged—to include nieces and nephews, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters (disguised as publicists, managers, agents, hairdressers) on excursions through Africa, Greece, Taiwan, Russia and more on that show and others like it.
Nowadays, celebrity golf tournaments are a fine way to travel as a “guest,” see cool parts of the planet, get more swag, and, rather than have them over for dinner, reunite with friends on that circuit…and not have to clean up after them.
My bucket list includes Via Rail through western Canada, a river cruise in Europe and an intense tour of the Balkans (okay, I guess that means a few more Forts… and sign me up for one more Cathedral.)
TLL: What kind of cuisine do you favor?
AT: My culinary tastes are basics from the steak, lobster and French fries family. I do enjoy the occasional foray into bone marrow and I loved foie gras before I learned how they obtain it. You can offer me a gourmet poutine and a butter tart any day. I am considered to be highly experimental in my openness to new dishes. For that reason, I was very popular in Vietnam for eating every imaginable part of an ox…and in Russia for eating brown bear chops with nary a fruity sauce to calm the taste. I love Chinese and Indian especially but my sister’s ribs win the gold medal every time. My grandmother made a fabulous bread pudding whose recipe left when she did.
TLL: What is your best tip for “living fabulously”?
AT: My best tip for living fabulously would be to keep an open mind, free to experiment, explore…try new foods, activities, vacations, challenges, work possibilities and acquaintances. None of us will live long enough to experience and enjoy all of the fabulousness our world has to offer so look around, get busy every day…and just dig in!
My hat’s off to Thicke for his levity and candor. Well played.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s)
detailed above were provided at no cost and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions
expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any
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