Here’s to some of our favorite TV dads
Football coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) was a father figure not only to his daughter, but his players, in the NBC series “Friday Night Lights,” helping them navigate life in — and out of — their football-mad Texas town.
Our favorite TV dads – James Avery, who died at 68 on December 31, 2013, portrayed one of the most beloved fictional dads on TV as Philip Banks in the 1990s comedy “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” With his combination of heart, humor and awesome sweater collections, Avery’s Uncle Phil is one of our favorite TV dads.
He didn’t let D.J. go to school wearing a crop top, or skip class to get Stacey Q’s autograph, but he was a pretty rad dad. On the 1980s and ’90s series “Full House” — and more recently on Netflix’s “Fuller House” — this single father (Bob Saget) and morning talk show host taught the value of spring-cleaning, along with life lessons such as, “Don’t back a concrete mixer into the kitchen.” Just don’t move the baking soda in his sock drawer. He’ll notice.
Long held as the prototype for the “perfect dad,” Ward Cleaver (played by Hugh Beaumont) has resonated with families for decades. On the 1950s-’60s series “Leave It to Beaver,” he was the paradigm of sage advice and discipline for Wally and Beaver. Not to mention, he was a whiz on the barbecue. A stiff white collar has never looked so good … or paternal.
In “black-ish,” Dre Johnson Sr. (Anthony Anderson) and his wife try to ingrain a sense of cultural identity in their four kids, along with the help of his own dad, played by Laurence Fishburne. Since it premiered in 2014, it has dealt with intense topics, like when the Johnson family gathered for a night of tough TV and tougher discussions, waiting to see whether a police officer would face charges for the assault of a black man.
It’s hard to honor just one dad from the hit ABC show “Modern Family,” but Cam’s (Eric Stonestreet) never-ending devotion to adopted daughter, Lily, has landed him on our list. He won us over when he carried out “every father’s dream” by building Lily a princess castle. It’s hard to get sick of his pastel button-down shirts and charming insecurities. Cam put it best when he said, “I’m sort of like Costco. I’m big, I’m not fancy, and I dare you not to like me.”
This blue-collar dad (played by Mike O’Malley) tore audiences’ hearts out (in the best possible way) when his son, Kurt, came out to him during the first season of “Glee,” which aired on Fox from 2009 to 2015. The single dad put his football dreams for Kurt aside, saying, “If this is who you are, I love you just as much.”
There aren’t many men who could handle six children, a wife, a dog and a career as an architect, all while wearing tight plaid pants. Mike Brady (Robert Reed) took everything in stride on the 1960s-’70s series “The Brady Bunch.” From camping in the Grand Canyon to grappling with a curse in Hawaii, Mike endured the occasional headache while remaining hopelessly devoted to Carol.
Charles ‘Pa’ Ingalls, ‘Little House on the Prairie’ – Michael Landon as Charles “Pa” Ingalls on the 1970s-’80s series “Little House on the Prairie” made many of us wish we lived on the frontier. He was just the greatest.
Homer Simpson, ‘The Simpsons’ – How can you not love Homer Simpson as much as he loves donuts? While not the sharpest knife in the drawer, “The Simpsons” character definitely loves his wife and kids. Homer made his debut when the animated comedy first aired in December 1989.
Gruff yet lovable, Jack (played by Dan Lauria) worked through the daily grind of middle management on the 1980s-’90s series “The Wonder Years.” He later taught his son Kevin the value of entrepreneurship when he opened a furniture business. There was something comforting about Jack’s straight-shooting style and inner softie.
In NBC’s “This is Us,” Jack and Rebecca Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) play a young couple that builds a unique brood after one of their triplets dies during birth. One scene in the sob-inducing show featured Jack and Randall at a dojo, where the instructor had Jack do push-ups with his son on his back — and refusing to stop.