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10 Most Memorable TV Dads

By Edited Apr 25, 2016 2 4

Since the advent of television, there have been hundreds of TV dads broadcasted throughout the airwaves. Some were funny, some were serious, but they all gave us a look into the lives of people we wished we knew and wished we had. Here are ten of the most popular TV dads to ever have virtually lived.

#10.) Jed Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies
Played by veteran actor Buddy Ebsen, Jed Clampett was a soft-spoken Southern man trying to raise a teenaged daughter with the help of aged mother-in-law, Granny. Though he strikes oil on his property and moves his family to California, he never loses his down-home country charm.


#9.) Danny Tanner of Full House
In the role that would make Bob Saget a household name, Danny Tanner was a dad for the ages. Not only was he trying to raise three daughters as a single father, but he was also trying to help out his brother-in-law and his best friend. He made the idea of being a clean freak something to be proud of, and showed the world that a house full of men can do just as good of a job raising children as any woman.


#8.) Jason Seaver from Growing Pains
Alan Thicke did an outstanding job portraying a work-at-home dad to three kids. It was one of the first shows that depicted the mom working outside the home while the father, a practicing psychiatrist, working from an office inside the home. It allowed the world to see a more modern type of family, though one that still held values and love for one another.


#7.) Tony Minelli from Who's The Boss
As the role that would define the acting career of Tony Danza, this was a show that proved that a man would do just about anything to provide for his children. Taking a position as a housekeeper to a wealthy-and single-woman, he does all he can to show his daughter that there is no shame in doing what you can for your family.


#6.)Howard Cunningham from Happy Days
Tom Bosley did a wonderful job as the typical 50's type TV dad. Though he portrayed the hard-working, "always there for his family" kind of dad, he always played the part with just enough imperfections as to make him seem believable.


#5.) Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch
Played by actor Robert Reed, Mike Brady was the world's most perfect father. Not only was he a successful architect, but he was also raising three boys by himself. That is until he marries Mrs. Brady, then he becomes father to three boys and three girls. Though the show itself was a bit too perfect, Mike Brady was the dad that every kid wanted at home.


#4.) Andy Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show
Sheriff Taylor was more than just the law in the little town of Mayberry, he was also the alter ego of veteran actor Andy Griffith. As father figure to Ron Howard before Tom Bosley, Andy Griffith knew how to keep peace in both his town and in his home.


#3.) Jim Anderson from Father Knows Best
There are those that will say that Robert Young's portrayal of this classic 50's dad should be in the number one position. However, this TV dad lived in a time when it wasn't proper to show any parent as anything other than perfect. Yet, Jim Anderson is and always will be known as the first father of sitcom television.


#2.) Charles Ingalls from Little House On The Prairie
One of the greatest roles of Michael Landon's career, Charles Ingalls was based on an actual figure from history. The show itself was based on a series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but the man was truly brought to life by the acting achievements of Mr. Landon. He proved that just because a family has to fight off the hardships of life, there is always time for laughter and love.


#1.) Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show
Bill Cosby has been an American icon for more than 40 years, but it was his role as Cliff Huxtable that gave the world a taste of what his life was truly like in the real world. Though the Huxtable family was a work of fiction, many of the situations were written from the real life of Mr. Cosby himself. Not only did this family have its share of ups and downs, they broke stereo types that had been in place since the advent of television.

As long as we have televisions in our homes, there will always be a place for TV dads in our lives. We know that over the years, the portrayals of television fathers have changed dramatically. But, every once in a while, a TV dad comes along that leaves a mark on lives and an impressions on our hearts.

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Comments

May 18, 2010 2:10pm
Introspective
The dad from “Leave It to Beaver” was pretty good, but probably not memorable because I can’t remember his name.

Oh and I also liked Herman Munster!
May 18, 2010 2:15pm
crsenter
I almost added Herman Munster to the list. Actually, had I written this list with what I started out with, it would have been at least twice as long. LOL
Thanks Intro
Jun 1, 2010 10:03pm
mommymommymommy
Reading your list brought back a lot of fond memeories of shows gone by. I wonder if a similar list could be made twenty years from now...I can't think of anyone I would put on there!
Dec 17, 2011 1:51am
AuroraWindsor
You covered a lot of my favorite tv dads. I loved Full House, Little House On The Prairie, and The Cosby Show. Those dads were great role models.
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