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10 Most Respected TV Dads of All Time

Jun 12, 2014

When the TV is turned on, it’s inevitable to see a lot of bad examples of how a father should act. Various shows have an abundance of lazy, neglectful, and just plain dumb fathers. Despite these bad examples, however, there have been quite a few notable fathers played on television throughout the year. The following list contains the ten most respected TV dads of all time.

1) Danny Tanner from Full House

Full House was definitely family-focused. The show sucked people in immediately because it centered upon Danny Tanner, the father, trying to raise his children (all girls) after his wife passed away. He gets help from his friend and brother-in-law, but it’s also clear that Danny works incredibly hard at being a good father. Throughout the show he gives lectures, is there for his children, and admits when he is wrong.

2) Tim Taylor from Home Improvement

Although quirky, accident prone, and comedic, it is clear throughout the show that Tim wants to teach his boys how to become a man. Although he makes his share of mistakes, he often admits them and seeks wisdom from his next door neighbor. At times in the show, Tim even talks about wanting to be a great father—not just a good one. Ultimately, Tim “the tool man” Taylor is teachable, which is a great character trait for fathers to emulate.

3) Jack Bauer from 24

Many will deny Jack his right amongst the most respected TV dads. After all, his daughter Kim gets into harm’s way numerous times in the show because of his job as a CTU agent. As if that wasn’t enough, his wife was killed during an operation that he was working as well. Regardless, though, Jack Bauer serves his country with honor, keeps his word, and is extremely loving and protective towards his daughter. In one of the later seasons, Kim even apologizes to her father for leaving him and assured him that all the events that happened were not because of him. So, Kim admits that he father is a great man and an even better dad. After Kim has a baby, Jack even agrees to move to California with her family so they can be close together. Ultimately, he is sacrificial, honorable, and trustworthy.

4) Carl Winslow from Family Matters

As the title of the show suggests, the whole concept is about family. He is a police officer and seems to be very good at what he does, but above all he is concerned about raising his children. Countless times he gives lectures to his kids and tries to teach them right from wrong. Although many dads on TV are the ones glued to the television sets and are annoyed by any family interruption, Carl Winslow always made time for his wife and kids. Without a doubt, he works hard at being a father and loves his family very much. And, despite his annoying neighbor Steve Urkel, he still has a soft spot in his heart for the boy.

5) Henry Spencer from Psych

At the beginning of Psych, tension between Shawn and his father Henry was abundant. It was clear that Shawn severely disliked his father and blamed him for many mistakes that happened in his life. However, as the show progressed their entire relationship changed—Shawn actually forgave his father and began loving him. Then, further on, Shawn learned that his father was not even responsible for his mother leaving and that many of the horrible things that he blamed his father for were not even factual. The entire relationship changed and many episodes showed Shawn going to his dad for advice and it was clear Henry Spencer was proud of his son and wanted to steer him in the right direction.

6) Phillip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bellaire

Despite being a comedy, this show often had some heart wrenching scenes that centered on Phillip Banks loving his children and the nephew he took into his home at a young age. Will Smith, the nephew, progressed a lot during the show; he started out as a young kid from Philly who dressed oddly, praised the street life, and listened to loud rap music. By the close of the show, Will was a married man who successfully completed school and was a respectable man—all thanks to Phillip Banks, who raised him and counted him as his own son.

7) Eric Camden from 7th Heaven

Eric Camden was a reverend by profession who often worked with troubled teens. In his own house, he worked hard at instilling positive values into his children, even when they began rebelling and testing out the ways of the world. Every episode shows Eric helping someone, whether it is a person in his church or community, or his own kids (all seven of them!). He is there for people in their most needful times. Many of his children made mistakes at some point, but Eric was always there for them to point them in the right direction and loved them despite their mistakes.

8) Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show

Iconic when it comes to TV dads, Cliff Huxtable is known for being a great father to his five children. He is a family man who wants the best for his kids and provides for them the best he can. Throughout the show, Cliff inspires and instructs his children, hoping that they will make good decisions and know the difference between right and wrong.

9) Michael Kyle from My Wife and Kids

Michael Kyle is a loving husband and father, though he has a very unique parenting style. While instructing his children, he will often dish out punishments and lessons that are pretty comedic. So called “Michael Kyle Signature Moments,” his instructions often involved tricking his kids so they would see the dangerous consequences some of their actions can have. For example, after finding out his daughter drove his car without permission, he decided to take and hide it without her knowing, so that she would think it was stolen while she was using it. Although his methods were comedic, he always followed it up with a serious lecture. All in all, he worked very hard at being a good father and teaching his children valuable lessons that they would remember for their entire lives.

10) Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch

A widower, Mike Brady marries a new woman who has three daughters. The difficulty, however, is that he already has three sons! Thus, the show focuses upon the adjustments the family has to make, along with typical teenage issues like puberty, sibling rivalry, dating, etc. Despite having six children in his household, Mike tries to reach and communicate to each one individually. As for his step-daughters, he assured them that there are no steps in their household. In other words, all of his daughters are his children and there is no partiality with his love.


There is definitely a plethora of horrible examples of fatherhood on television today. Fortunately, however, there have been a handful of great, respectable dads who valued family, loved their wives, and really took the time out of their day to teach their kids positive values and let them know they are loved.

Post by Michael Krauszer

Michael Krauszer is the owner/founder of, a website dedicated to providing christian reviews of various types of literature--from movies to books. He has a BA in English from The College of New Jersey and utilizes that for the reviews on Christian Literature Review. If you're an author and would like him to review your book, contact him at

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