Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Who's Your Favorite TV Dad?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 Jun 21


Posted by Jim_Daly Jun 20, 2012

Although they’re fictitious characters, a good many people have been “raised” by fathers on TV, for good or bad.  On the heels of Father’s Day this past Sunday, I thought it would be fun to ask you to share with me who your favorite television dad is - and why? 

Here are some choices, in no particular order, but please feel free to write in a candidate of your choice:

Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon, Little House on the Prairie)

“Pa” was a man’s man, a rugged frontiersman who was as tender as he was tough.

Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby, The Cosby Show)

Dr. Huxtable was the perfect blend of smarts and good humor; he commanded respect and made us all laugh.

Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont, Leave it to Beaver)

Does any dad dress better for a family dinner or counsel with more compassion?

Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith, The Andy Griffith Show)

The quintessential man of reason who knew well how to “sit a spell” on his front porch.

Mike Brady (Robert Reed, The Brady Bunch)

One of the first television dads to model how to parent a blended family, Mr. Brady (big hair and all) knew how to take emergencies leisurely, like how to deal with losing a kid in the Grand Canyon or negotiating with kidnapper Vincent Price in a Hawaiian cave.

Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley, Happy Days)

Raising two children, running a hardware store and putting up with Arthur Fonzarelli living over your garage couldn’t have been easy, but “Mr. C” made it look like fun.

Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray, My Three Sons)

A widower and aeronautical engineer, Steve was a fountain of wisdom and common sense.

Uncle Bill Davis (Brian Keith, Family Affair)

At first a reluctant “father” following the tragic death of his brother and sister-in-law, Uncle Bill helped to show that a giving life is also a fulfilling life.

Ben Cartwright (Lorne Green, Bonanza)

The family patriarch, Ben not only quoted from the Bible – he lived it!

Mike Seaver (Alan Thicke, Growing Pains)

It must be difficult to grow up with a father whose day job is a psychiatrist, but Dr. Seaver seemed to find a good balance in not overanalyzing his children.

John Walton (Ralph Waites, The Waltons)

I can’t imagine that anybody did a better job of raising seven kids and maintaining a loving atmosphere in the midst of the Great Depression than John.

Steven Keaton (Michael Gross, Family Ties)

Tension can make for a good story, so it was just plain fun to see a liberal father (Steven) try and make sense of his Ronald Reagan-worshipping son, Alex, played by Michael J. Fox.

So … who gets your vote?


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