By Paul Kennedy
The wonderful world of television and film has thrown up some memorable father figures over the years. Whether cartoon or real, the task of finding a top ten is tough. But, as Father’s Day approaches, we’ve managed to fish out the best fathers for our list of Top Ten Screen Dads. Do you think we’ve missed any out, Log on to caymanreporter.com and let us know.
10 Philip Banks – The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Ok, so cards on the table, Philip Banks (James Avery) isn’t exactly a father to Will Smith, but that’s what makes him so special. He takes on this streetwise quick mouthed teen and tries to teach him respect, responsibility and maturity even though he’s not his own son. Six seasons of this popular sit com followed and provided the launch pad for Smith’s career to take off.
9 Ted Kramer – Kramer v Kramer
This 1979 movie tugged on the heartstrings and portrayed and edgy subject rarely seen on movie screens at the time. Divorce. Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) takes custody of his son Billy after his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) walks out. But 15 months later she’s back, and she wants Billy. Cue messy divorce, custody battles, tears and tissues. And of course, five academy awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress.
8 Chris Gardner – The Pursuit of Happyness
Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is the struggling salesman who, with his son at his side, sets out to change his life and better himself for his child. No wife, no house, no car and no money, Chris has to start at the very bottom if he wants to make it anywhere near the top. But Chris is a man with a plan, and with his son Christopher (Jaden Smith) as a constant inspiration, he’ll do anything to succeed, and find happiness. The reason the word happiness is spelt wrong in the movie title, Well watch it and find out.
7 George Banks – Father of the Bride
Walking your daughter down the aisle is the happiest day of every father’s life. Right, Well, maybe giving away your precious princess isn’t exactly what should be going through your mind on her wedding day. George Banks (Steve Martin) is the nervous father who’s not quite ready to let his daughter go in this 1991 remake of the Spencer Tracey classic with Martin at his dead pan best.
6 Mufasa – The Lion King
Now who wanted want their ol’ man to be King of the Jungle, That’s exactly what Mufasa (voice James Earl Jones) is, in the 1994 animated smash The Lion King. Wait a minute, 1994, That’s right this Disney blockbuster is more than 20 years old. But despite his strong exterior, Mufasa is kind, gentle and shows respect to all animals in the jungle. Exactly what’s required of any Kind and father for that matter.
5 Daniel Hillard – Mrs. Doubtfire
Now just what lengths would a father go to, to make sure he saw more of his children after a messy divorce, Dress up as a woman and become their nanny of course. That’s exactly what Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) did as his alter ego Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. Laughs a plenty, none more so than the cake on the face scene, all Hillard wants is to see his kids. So dressing up as a woman and pretending to be a qualified child minder is the answer, right,
4 Phil Dunphy – Modern Family
Cool dad, devoted family man and besotted husband, Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) is a perfect picture of the leader of a modern family. But viewers of this popular U.S. sit com can see ol’ Phil is anything but the head of this household. The hapless real estate agent is really a kid at heart and boy can you tell. But when it comes to the crunch fun Phil is a great dad all round.
3 Byran Mills – Taken
Now let’s not beat around the bush here, if you ever find yourself getting kidnapped by drug lord or bad guys in general, there’s only one dad you want to come to the rescue. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) of course. The ex-CIA agent pulls no punches as he tracks down and finds his daughter. And remember that famous phone call, Of course you do… “If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
2 Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mocking Bird
Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is the Alabama lawyer who defends a black man wrongly accused of rape. But, outside the court room Finch is really showing his children what’s right and wrong in the world in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel from 1960. Bringing up kids as a father on his own is tough enough, but doing it in America’s deep south at a time when prejudice and hatred was rife is nigh on impossible for a man. Not so for Atticus Finch.
1 Homer Simpson – The Simpsons
He drinks too much, can’t stand working, or anything really that involves physical work, sets anything but a good example, so why on earth is Homer Simpson (voice Dan Castellaneta) anywhere near our top ten of best movie and TV dads, Well, because he is. Lovers of The Simpson know only too well that deep down Homer loves his kids, loves his wife, and will always put them first, no matter at what cost.