Philip McKeon, popularly known for playing the son of Linda Lavin’s titular character in CBS’s award-wining sitcom Alice in the 80s, has died. He was 55.
McKeon’s family spokesperson, Jeff Ballard, told ET that the actor died in Texas, following a longtime illness.
In a statement to the outlet, Ballard said:
“We are all beyond heartbroken and devastated over Phil’s passing. His wonderful sense of humor, kindness and loyalty will be remembered by all who crossed his path in life.”
McKeon played the role of Tommy Hyatt on Alice from 1976 to 1985. The show won eight Golden Globes and was based on Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
Following that, McKeon appeared in several other TV shows, including the NBC crime drama CHiPs, and a pair of ABC series, Fantasy Island and The Love Boat, in 1984.
On the actor side, McKeon appeared mostly in horror films, among them including the Return to Horror High and Ghoulies IV. He also directed one film and produced several others, such as Teresa’s Tattoo, which starred his sister.
McKeon’s most recent credit was as a co-producer on a 2005 psychological thriller, The Jacket, which starred Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley.
He later worked in the news industry at KFWB News 98 in Los Angeles. He also hosted his own radio show in Wimberley, Texas, close to his family.
Charlie Sheen, who starred alongside McKeon in “No Day at the Beach” (an episode of the 1980s NBC anthology series Amazing Stories), paid tribute to the actor on Twitter, sharing a photo of himself with McKeon.
“Shared some wonderful moments in the ‘trenches’ with Phil McKeon many moons ago. Over the past few decades, he was always a perfect gentleman and an ebullient spirit. And his goofy af smile, was pure gold. r.i.p. young man. Much much too soon, you cut out.”
McKeon is survived by his mother, Barbara, and his sister Nancy McKeon, who starred in The Facts of Life.
Last month, Nancy had shared a happy birthday message to her brother on Twitter, remarking on how they always get through tough times together.
“A huge happy birthday to my big brother 🥳!! It’s been a tough time lately… but as we’ve always said…we’ll get through it together… love you Dude😎…. and as always… our humble thanks to all our veterans 🇺🇸❤️💙#homeofthebrave #courage #gratitude #family.”