“Good, Kind, Honest, Dedicated,” says Philip McKeon from the TV show Alice. His spirit won’t be forgotten.

Philip McKeon, best known for his role as Alice in the CBS sitcom Alice, died on December 10, 2019. According to family spokesman Jeff Ballard, he died in Texas at the age of 55 after a long battle with an illness. For nearly a decade, audiences knew him as Tommy Hyatt. Fans immediately expressed their condolences on social media after learning of his death. As the title suggests, Tommy was not the main focus of the show. However, the young actor made an impression as Alice’s son.

Facts of Life’s Julie Piekarski recalls him as having a “great laugh” and a “big smile.” Piekarski worked alongside McKeon’s younger sister, Nancy, and became acquainted with both of them. She thought the siblings were easy to get along with, according to PEOPLE. “I just remember [Philip and Nancy] as nice people — nice, kind, honest, and dedicated people. And as a Midwesterner, I could relate to that. “We just clicked really well,” she explained.

Please join us in remembering Philip McKeon, a true legend. Those who met Philip McKeon didn’t have to meet him to recognize his endearing personality and talent. In fact, his work spoke volumes about his personality. That is how he even got his first big break. Linda Lavin, who played Alice, saw McKeon perform on Broadway during a 1974 production of Jason and Medea. Based on his performance, she knew he’d be the perfect fit for Tommy and recommended him for the part.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is a television adaptation of the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974). The original romantic comedy-drama film starred Ellen Burstyn as a woman on the run in search of a better life. Similarly, the sitcom follows a widow and her young son as they seek a better life elsewhere. Because Alice, unlike its film predecessor, promoted itself as a sitcom, some of the drama was dropped in favor of lighter fare.

Nonetheless, Lavin and McKeon made an impression on both the audience and each other. “Just by being the wondrous boy he was, he taught me how to be a good mom,” Lavin recalled. McKeon kept acting after Alice ended. He appeared in a number of films, including CHiPs (1979), Return to Horror High (1987), The Love Boat (1984), Sandman (1993), and others. Even though he never made any top 25 lists, he became a teen idol.

McKeon eventually looked for work outside of acting. McKeon began his career as a model before transitioning to radio. He began his career at KFWB AM 980 in Los Angeles, where he worked in the news department. He later co-hosted The Breakfast Taco on KWVH-LP 94.1FM. That led him to Wimberley, Texas, where McKen’s life ended far too soon in 2019.

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