Many of our ideas of proper parenting come from not just observing out own parents, but also by observing how parents are depicted in that living room mainstay found in every American home -- TV.
Here is Newsmax’s list of the best TV fathers.
“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” -- Ozzie Nelson as himself
This starred the real-life Nelson family, and it got its beginnings as a radio program in 1944 before moving to TV four years later. It remained as a staple through 1966.
The series was a springboard to Ricky Nelson’s singing career, but Ozzie was the one who held the family together with his good humor, often self-effacing.
“Father Knows Best” -- Robert Young as James Anderson
This series also began on radio in 1949, with the James Anderson character portrayed as a somewhat sarcastic insurance salesman.
When it was televised in 1954, Young asked that his character be softened, and the laughter and sarcasm of the radio series was shelved to depict a warm family relationship, with Young usually offering advice to his three children, “Princess,” “Bud,” and “Kitten.”
The new formula worked as the series ran until 1960 and total of 203 episodes were produced. It also resulted in two reunion made-for-TV movies in 1967.
“My Three Sons” -- Fred MacMurray as Steve Douglas
After becoming widowed, it’s up to aeronautical engineer Douglas to raise and care for his three rambunctious boys on his own.
The series enjoyed a long run -- from 1960 to 1972, due, in large part, to MacMurray’s portrayal of a thoughtful, pipe-smoking Douglas offering sage advice and keeping his family together.
“Bachelor Father” -- John Forsythe as Bentley Gregg
Wealthy Beverly Hills attorney Gregg accepts responsibility of raising his niece Kelly after her parents are killed in an automobile accident.
Although the Gregg character occasionally dated in some episodes, he dedicated most of his time to raising Kelly, who literally grew into a young woman, from age 13 when the series started, to 18 when it ended.
“The Brady Bunch” -- Robert Reed as Mike Brady
Los Angeles architect Brady was depicted as a widowed father of three boys who marries a widowed mother of three girls. As the head of this blended family, he was famous for his one-on-one talks with his six children, usually conducted in his home office with him seated at his drafting table and the errant child sitting on a couch.
The series ran for five seasons totaling 115 episodes.
“Different Strokes” -- Conrad Bain as Phillip Drummond
The Drummond character, a widower and wealthy New York businessman, and his daughter Kimberly, take in the two African American sons of a deceased employee, and he raises them as his own.
Although “Different Strokes” was a sitcom, with the two boys providing much of the humor, it was also a vehicle for serious issues that included racism and illegal drug use, with the Drummond father-figure giving a steady hand and a voice of reason. The series ran for five seasons, comprising 138 episodes.
“Family Affair” -- Brian Keith as William “Uncle Bill” Davis
Similar to “Bachelor Father,” in “Family Affair,” wealthy New York City-based bachelor and civil engineer Davis takes in his brother’s three orphaned children at the insistence of other relatives who believe he’s financially best suited to do so.
Initially neither he nor his English gentleman’s gentleman Mr. French are very happy with the arrangement, but they soon warm up to it, and “Uncle Bill” becomes a loving father to the children as they all form into a close-knit family.
“The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” -- Bill Bixby as Tom Corbett
This series was based on a film and novel of the same name, and depicts a Los Angeles-based magazine publisher and widower raising a young, mischievous son, Eddie, with the help of their Japanese housekeeper, Mrs. Livingston.
Because Eddie wants to experience having a mother again, he manipulates his father’s relationships with women in an attempt to create a romance. Mrs. Livingston always addresses Corbett as "Mr. Eddie's Father," giving a hint as to who everyone thought was the most important member of the family.
“The Andy Griffith Show” -- Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor
The Andy Taylor character was a small-town North Carolina sheriff and single father, committed to raising his son Opie with the help of their Aunt Bea.
The series ran for eight seasons, 249 episodes. Andy raised his son with a mixture of good humor and common sense, and held him to a high moral standard.
“Happy Days” -- Tom Bosley as Howard Cunningham
Milwaukee hardware store owner Cunningham was father to not only son Richie and daughter Joanie, but also to a large cast of their friends who enjoyed hanging out at the Cunningham home. They included Ralphie, Potsie, Fonzie, and Chachie, and Cunningham often offered them fatherly advice when the occasion called for it.
The series enjoyed a long run of 255 episodes spread over 11 seasons.
“Little House on the Prairie” -- Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls
Based on the autobiographical “Little House of the Prairie” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this TV series described life on a small farm in Walnut Grove, Minn.
Ingalls was known for his cracker barrel wisdom, which made him something of a leader in his tiny farming community. He’s most of all a pioneer raising three daughters on the frontier along with his wife, Caroline.
The series filmed 204 episodes over nine seasons.
“Full House” -- Bob Saget as Danny Tanner
In this series, which ran for eight seasons and 192 episodes, Saget played a young widower and father of four girls.
Tanner is a bit of a neat freak and is very protective of his girls, making him one of every girl’s favorite dads.
“The Waltons” -- Ralph Waite as John Walton Sr.
Set in the fictional Walton’s Mountain, Va., from the Great Depression to World War II, “The Waltons” was inspired by Earl Hamner’s own childhood in rural Virginia.
Although centered on “John Boy” Walton, the eldest of John and Olivia’s seven children, John Sr.’s. common sense, moral code, and steady hand made him the rock that kept the family afloat during harsh economic times, by farming, hunting, and managing a small lumber yard.
The series ran for nine seasons, comprised of 221 episodes.
“Eight Is Enough” -- Dick Van Patten as Thomas "Tom" Bradford Sr.
This series was inspired by syndicated newspaper columnist Tom Braden’s autobiographical book of the same name, describing his life as a parent raising eight children.
In the sitcom, Tom Brandon is a columnist for the fictional Sacramento Register, who successfully deals with the needs of eight children of differing personalities.
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