Some TV dads are just buffoons, and others are sterling examples of exactly what not to do, but throughout the years, TV has idealized, even immortalized, the qualities of fatherhood.
Just in time for Father’s Day, I have put together a list of my all-time favorite and inspiring TV dads. It was a challenge to pick only ten, so feel free to start a discussion of your own favs in the comment box below.
Heathcliff Huxtable: “The Cosby Show” — He ruled his children with a firm but funny hand. while always leading by example. Besides, I loved those brightly colored sweaters!
Steve Keaton: “Family Ties” — He was a hippie who hung on to his ideals in the yuppie 80s while still loving his ultra-conservative Republican son. It made for humor and heart-warming moments.
Steve Douglas: “My Three Sons” — He was one of the first single dads on TV and had more than three sons before the shows twelve year run ended.
Keith Mars: “Veronica Mars” — As far as modern dads go, he was one of the best. He never put work before his daughter, and his trust in and honesty with Veronica were part of why she was such a super-sleuth.
Jonathan Kent: “Smallville” — It’s not easy being the dad of a superhero, but Jonathon always tried to instill values that would help Clark Kent use his powers for good, not evil.
Eric Camden: “7th Heaven” — Everybody’s favorite TV pastor did his best to manage his growing brood as well as his church flock, but wasn’t afraid to make mistakes in doing so. Plus, he had a sense of humor about his own shortcomings.
Father Mulcahy: “MASH” — Well I didn’t say everyone on the list was going to be that kind of father, did I? Father Mulcahy was the trusted, faithful priest of one of the craziest groups of medical professionals ever. Humble and pure of heart, he was the best priest ever on TV!
Charles Ingalls: “Little House” — If you need a little down-home common sense, where better to turn to than good ole Pa Ingalls. His homespun wisdom was as limitless as the prairie he lived on
Eric Taylor: “Friday Night Lights” –Coach Taylor is not only a good father to his two daughters, but he is a surrogate father to many of the young men on the Dillon Panthers football team.
Noah Bennet: “Heroes” — Is he a bad guy, or isn’t he? It took us awhile to find out, but Bennet would stop at nothing to save his family.