This Father’s Day, we are going to look back at all the dads we loved to watch over the past 60 years tuning in from our couches or local theaters, who were all loving, hilarious, and entertaining in their own way.
Time magazine called Mike Brady of “The Brady Bunch” not only “TV’s perfect 1950s dad” but among the Top 10 TV Dads of all time and why not. He became a loving father and trusted advisor to all of the kids despite all of the challenges and hijinks that ensued. Mike Brady was a character that did more than just show up but was a model dad in a show that was ahead of its time in a rapidly changing America.
Robert Young as Jim Anderson in Father Knows Best is the epitome of the 1950s sitcom father. As the title of the series implies, whenever one of his three children has a problem, he is there to offer sage advice, teaching them timeless valuable life lessons, such as how to stand up to a bully, the value of contributing to their community and the importance of telling the truth.
Who could forget the memorable Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker in All in the Family? Archie is an old-school hardworking man who is convinced that his way is the right way, but despite his gruffness, he clearly shows he has a soft spot for his family – in his own way of course.
Then there is Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver. He marriedhis childhood sweetheart, had a good job and two boys. The boysknew they could rely on their dad for advice, and he and June were model parents, working together to raise morally upright young men.
Most feel a bit of nostalgia when we see The Andy Griffith Show on these days – even 60 years later. It must be the ideal father role that Andy Griffith played as Andy Taylor. He takes time out to spend fishing with his young son, not only providing valuable bonding time, but teaching him life skills. He was always a very involved father and one that his son, Opie relied on for everything.
A father’s love for his children should be unconditional, but the gruff, demanding approach of Captain Georg von Trapp, played by Christopher Plummer, whom we lost earlier this year, in The Sound of Musicmakes his character arc that much more engaging and endearing. The Captain cares for seven motherless children which is a feat in itself.
Our favorite TV and movie fathers always delivered a bright and pure connection through the roughness and routine of our day to day. Their humor could wipe away life’s worries and uncertainties for a while, and their humanity made us aspire to find our best selves.
On a truly special Father’s Day, we salute our adopted dads — from Mike Brady to Andy Taylor and Ward Cleaver— from the big and small screens.
Happy Father’s day!
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