Philip McKeon, a Child Star on the Sitcom Alice, Dies at Age 55

Natalie Stone

Child actor Philip McKeon has died. He was 55.

After battling a longtime illness, he died Tuesday morning in Texas, family spokesman Jeff Ballard confirmed to PEOPLE.

“We are all beyond heartbroken and devastated over Phil’s passing,” Ballard said in a statement. “His wonderful sense of humor, kindness and loyalty will be remembered by all who crossed his path in life.”

The elder brother of Facts of Life actress Nancy McKeon, Philip is best known for his role as Tommy Hyatt on Alice, in which he starred opposite Linda Lavin from 1976-1985. The CBS sitcom was based on Martin Scorsese’s 1974 rom-com Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, in which Alfred Lutter played the titular character Alice Hyatt’s son Tommy. However, Philip replaced Lutter after the pilot.

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Philip McKeon and Alice cast | CBS via Getty

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Following his role on the sitcom, he worked at Los Angeles station KFWB News 98 in its news department for 10 years before later moving to Wimberly, Texas, where he hosted his own radio show and relocated to be closer to family. His other credits include the 1987 slasher film Return to Horror High and appearances in CHiPs, Fantasy Island and The Love Boat.

Philip is survived by Nancy and his mother, Barbara.