With Father’s Day just around the corner (this Sunday 20h June, so yes, you do have time to buy yours a present), we’re remembering our favourite on-screen dads. From bald and bonkers, to loyal and loving; these TV and movie characters remind us (in many ways) of our own dads. Despite some being slightly unrealistic (how often did your father dress up as a British nanny when you were young?), their dedication to their children and witty dad humour is second to none. Here are nine of the best.
Daniel Hillard, Mrs Doubtfire
Following his divorce from wife Miranda, Daniel Hillard (played by the late Robin Williams) struggles to adjust to life without his children. He will do anything it takes to have them in his life again; even if it means dressing up as an elderly British woman and posing as a nanny. From making sure they do their homework to ensuring they’ve eaten a healthy dinner each day; Daniel’s love for his kids shines brightly throughout the film.
Danny Tanner, Full House
Danny Tanner is the king of cheesy dad jokes and meaningful pep-talks. Even when his second daughter Stephanie crashes a car into their kitchen, all he cares about is that she’s okay. “We can always buy a new car, or put up a new wall. But there’s only one Stephanie Judith Tanner and you could never be replaced.”
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
So what if he’s not the greatest role model; Homer Simpson is one of the most iconic onscreen dads there is. His beer-drinking, doughnut-munching ways are just one side of him. He’s also got a lot of love for his three kids Bart, Lisa and Maggie; so much so, ‘Daddy’ was Maggie’s first word. Aww.
Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell, is the epitome of ’embarrassing dad’. He’s the one who tries to ‘get down with the kids’ and wants to be actively involved in every aspect of their lives. While it’s mortifying for his onscreen children; his character is hysterical to watch. “I surf the web, I text, LOL.”
Chris Gardner, The Pursuit Of Happiness
Played by the real-life father-son duo Will and Jaden Smith, The Pursuit of Happiness tells the story of a dad who’ll do anything to make life better for his child. As a single parent, Chris does his best to provide for his son. Despite being evicted from his apartment and unable to pin down a job, he remains positive and determined to set a good example for his boy. “Don’t ever let somebody tell you, ‘you can’t’ do something. Not even me, alright?”
George Banks, Father Of The Bride
George Banks, played by actor Steve Martin, is a stereotypical over-protective father. He loves his daughter Annie so much that he’s frightened (and a little bit angered) by her sudden engagement. She has only known her fiancé for six months, and as she’s only 22 years old, George doesn’t want to let her go just yet. Soon he learns to put his daughter’s happiness first; as long as she’s happy, he’s happy.
Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird
Atticus is a lawyer who has taken on the defence case of an African-American man in Alabama. As one of the few people in his town who isn’t racist, he’s determined to raise his children well; teaching them to show respect towards all people. He teaches Scout and Jem to show kindness towards others; especially people less fortunate than them. He emphasises the importance of getting an education, and what’s more, he leads by example.
Marlin, Finding Nemo
Nothing screams true fatherly love like trekking across the ocean in search of your missing son. Marlin conquers his fear of sharks, jellyfish and the open water when he goes in search of Nemo, his only child. By the end of the movie, he learns to be more outgoing, as well as to be more trusting of his ‘little fella’.
George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life
After letting his temper get the better of him, George Bailey realises what’s most important in life: family. It doesn’t matter that his job is at risk and that he is $8,000 in debt. He learns to let go of his stress; he has a loving wife and four beautiful children, and that’s all that matters.
Photography, Full House, ABC.