10 of TV and Film’s Greatest Dads and Father Figures

Words by Nadine Bufi

Becoming a good dad is a difficult thing for some, but second nature to many. Some of us lucky enough to have a good dad know the impact and love that only a father can give. With this in mind, here are a handful of great dads that have shown up on TV shows and films over the years that prove that some dads are just too good to be true.

10. Yondu Udonta

Yondu, although carrying a troubled past after double-crossing his closest allies, changed himself to become better in order for Quill to survive. He knew what Ego was going to do to Peter, so he spared him but never took credit for it. He may have lied to Quill one too many times, but his intent was to protect him, an intention that Peter’s biological father never had. Yondu may have not always been the good guy, but he was what Quill needed.

“I’m sorry I didn’t do none of it right, but I’m so damn proud you’re my boy

9. Fred Andrews

Amid the various happenings in Riverdale, Fred Andrews was always looking out for his son. Whether that be supporting his aspiration to be a musician, his relationships with one of Riverdale’s shadiest families (Yes, the Lodges), or his football career. When fathers say they would die for their children, Fred really took it to the next level. He took a bullet for Archie and would have probably done so twice over.

8. Daniel Hillard

This classic film introduced us to Robin William’s Mrs. Doubtfire and we couldn’t be more grateful. Daniel Hillard prior to being taken out of his own house by order of his wife did an extensive (and extreme) self-transformation to get back into their lives. Pretending to be a nanny was not exactly easy but Daniel—or should I say Mrs. Doubtfire–was not letting a little hurdle get in the way of seeing his kids again.

Now that’s a determined dad!

7. Marlin

Marlin traveled halfway across the ocean, through shipwrecks, sharks, and some pretty apathetic fish in order to rescue Nemo. Not a lot of dads have that under their belt! Keeping in mind that these hundreds of miles were journeyed by one overly paranoid, cautious clownfish who was driven only by the thought of seeing his son again. Marlin is nothing short of extraordinary.

P. Sherman’s got nothing on this! 

6. Carl Fredricksen

Mr. Fredricksen, although had no biological children with Ellie, ended up taking in Russel. He did this knowing it would compromise his meticulously planned trip to Paradise Falls. A flying house and a half later, the two are happily counting red and blue cars by the street and Carl’s presenting Russel with the highest honor, the Ellie badge.

When it came to saving Russel, Carl knew what he had to do, even if that meant leaving his whole life (and a whole lot of furniture!) behind. Because of that, he deserves the Greatest Dad badge, for going above and beyond for Russel, Kevin, and Dug.

5. Cameron Tucker

Cam is a Modern Family staple and a professional coddler. When Lily was growing up, the two were inseparable, almost so much so that Mitchell was a little jealous. Cameron loves Lily more than he loves the farm, and he sure loves the farm.

Lily’s is lucky to have such a wonderful, dramatic and most importantly comedic father. Two of them, actually!

4. Greg Universe

Greg, even after losing the love of his life and being left to raise Steven alone became one of the kindest and most caring fathers I’ve seen on TV. He is so different from Steven and he knows that he can’t always protect him, but tries to anyway.

Equipped with little knowledge about Steven’s abilities and Rose’s previous life, he lets Steven stay with Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst so that he can grow up knowing surrounded by gems like his mother.

Greg’s love for his son is truly out of this world.

3. Charles Boyle

Charles does a good deal of the show’s runtime explaining the pronunciation of his son’s name to Jake (It’s NIKOLAJ!) which is only a fraction of the great lengths he has done in order for Nikolaj to trust him. Plus, he tells Nikolaj stories about his adventures with Jake at bedtime which is beyond adorable.

He may not be Captain Latvia, but Boyle is definitely Nikolaj’s hero.

2. Tony Stark

The recent release of End Game lets Tony become the father that he never had. All Tony ever wanted was time with Morgan and he couldn’t even have that. Before Endgame, he was already a father figure for both Harley and Peter. Heck, he was the father figure for the all of the Avengers.

Tony was a great dad who spared his life so that all of his children (biological or not) could live, even if that meant living without him.

Tony, we love you 3000.

1. Phil Dunphy

On the very first episode of Modern Family, Phil Dunphy calls himself a “cool dad” and we couldn’t agree more! He has shown in every episode from the beginning that he is 100% willing to go through hell or high water for Haley, Alex, and Luke and even more just to see them smile.

Sure, he’s the epitome of an embarrassing dad, but he loves his kids like no other AND he knows the entire high school musical dance. You can’t get any better than that!

Are there any other dads that we missed? Leave them in the comments below!


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