Top Ten TV DadsI have a thing for television and I have a thing for dads, so this is a natural fit.
He's not too smart (his 8-year-old daughter is smarter than he is, for God's sakes) but his heart is in the right place and he's a sweet man.
This Cosby Show dad inspired many of us and his humorous way of parenting the girls and Theo made for one terrific show- The episode with Theo and the earring still sticks in my head, Heathcliff handled it brilliantly.
Little House on the Prairie star was one of the best television dads ever. God rest his soul, this was the second of three major television rolls for Landon (Little Joe in Bonanza and Jonathan in Highway to Heaven) and all three are favorites of mine. This is his only one as a dad, and his was five star. How he dealt with troubling financial times in the late 19th Century were stand up and admirable. He was in many ways the perfect father. Dealing with Mary's blindness and his playful way with "Half-Pint" Laura- along with his even taking in orphans and loving them like his own- Charles was the best! Strict but compassionate and always doing what was not the easiest, but the RIGHT decisions.
Landon also did Sam's Son, a coming of age made for television film, in 1982. I have the Avon re-print on VHS which had the Worldvision Home Video logo intact.
He's iconic! How was he not on the list already?
There is something very familiar about this dad. Kirkwood Smith had to, at least once an episode, give a new and different line reading to the almost infamous threat, "foot up your... ". A tough and decent father, weary of his son's follies but never gave up on him.
If you don't put him in your remix, he'll put his foot in your ass!
This Growing Pains dad is very underrated. A psychiatrist on the show, he was a wonderful giver of advice to Mike, Carol, and Ben. Then they had Chrissy and we saw his skills with a baby. They even took in Leo DiCaprio as a stray teen! He became a stay at home dad when Maggie went to work on the newspaper, a very selfless man.
The Andy Griffith Show star was selfless and steady. I just love the relationship he had with little Ron Howard (Opie) and the love he gave him. Other dads should model Sheriff Taylor's dad decisions in the show. He was always on the side of justice and logic and provided Opie with more than enough love to make up for the loss of Opie's mom.
Roseanne star dad was a real guy, rugged, blue collar, handy, sometimes even unemployed. How he put up with Roseanne is beyond me, but he was a warm and sweet but sometimes hostile listener to Becky, Darlene, DJ, and the baby. His heart attack in the final season was a tear-jerker.
Bonanza dad is the best dad in television history, period. Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe had it made. This guy lost three wives to death but he overcame those personal tragedies to become the richest man in the Nevada Territory. It was all done with his own sweat and perseverance, the Horatio Alger-like American Dream. His tough but unwavering love for the three boys is the core of what made Bonanza the top-rated American television show of the 1960's and early 1970's.