Quick Profiles of A Few Of Our Favorite TV Dads


They say being a dad is hard – it can be frustrating, tiring and annoying especially to the first-time dads. You must be a dedicated man for taking this life-long duty. Here are some classic TV dads that became famous for all kinds of reasons.

Andy Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show

  • Full Name:  Andrew Jackson Samuel Taylor
  • Born:  June 20, 1920
  • Occupation: Sheriff
  • Wife:  Helen Crump-Taylor
  • Sons:  Opie Taylor, Andrew Samuel Taylor Jr.
  • Actor:  Andy Griffith

Andy was raised by his aunt – Bee Taylor. He is widowed (wife – unnamed character) and a father to Opie Taylor. He raised his son together with the help of aunt Bee. He then married Opie’s school teacher, Helen Crump and had a son named Andrew Samuel Taylor Jr. Andy is described as a wise sheriff and a nurturing father to his kids.

Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights

  • Full Name:  Eric Taylor
  • Occupation:  Football Coach
  • Wife:  Tami Taylor
  • Daughters:  Julie Taylor, Gracie Taylor
  • Actor:  Kyle Chandler

Eric Taylor grew up in Texas who plays football as a young man. He knew his wife, Tami, in high school and got married while young. They had two daughters Julie Taylor and Gracie Taylor. He is known as a firm man but very much affectionate around his wife. He is highly respected by his players as they look up to him as a surrogate father.

Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show

  • Full Name:  Dr. Healthcliff Isaac Huxtable, M.D.
  • Occupation:  Obstetrician
  • Wife:  Clair Huxtable
  • Daughters:  Sondra Huxtable, Denise Huxtable, Vanessa Huxtable, Rudith “Rudy” Huxtable
  • Sons: Theodore Huxtable
  • Actor:  Bill Cosby

Cliff Huxtable is an athlete who played wrestling, football and track and field during his high school and college years. He went on medical school and became an obstetrician who has a clinic from the office buy his home. He is has a bit of an eccentric streak to him and clearly loves his family and is a dedicated father with a strong sense of humor.

Phil Dunphy from Modern Family

  • Full Name:  Philip Humphrey Dunphy
  • Born:  April 3, 1969
  • Occupation: Real Estate Agent
  • Wife:  Clair Dunphy
  • Daughters:  Haley Dunphy, Alex Dunphy
  • Son:  Luke Dunphy
  • Actor:  Ty Burrell

Phil sees himself as a cool dad. He is a funny man and a bit clumsy and as implied by his wife, has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which his son Luke has as well. He is dedicated family man that he consistently tries to bond with his three children. He uses the parenting method which he calls “peerenting” – a combination of talking like a peer but acting like a parent.

Tim Taylor from Home Improvement

  • Full Name:  Timothy Taylor
  • Occupation:  TV Show Personality
  • Wife:   Jill Taylor
  • Sons:  Brad Taylor, Randy Taylor, Mark Taylor
  • Actor:  Tim Allen

Tim Taylor is also known as “Tool Man”. He is a hot rod enthusiast and a “know-it-all” man when comes to things related to cars. He spent a lot of his time in his garage, working on with his large collection of tools on his hot rod. He has his own TV show focusing on home improvement. Tim likes to joke around all the time even at the inappropriate times which dismay his wife, Jill.

Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch

  • Full Name:  Michael Paul Brady
  • Born:  June 23, 1933
  • Occupation:  Architect
  • Wife:  Carol Brady
  • Sons:  Greg Brady, Peter Brady,  Bobby Brady
  • Stepdaughters: Marcia Brady, Jan Brady, Cindy Brady
  • Actor:  Robert Reed

Mike Brady is a widow with three sons whom he brought with him when he married Carol Martin. He gains three stepdaughters from Carol’s first marriage named: Marcia, Jan and Cindy.  He is focused on bringing the two families together and all the laughs and challenges of having a large blended family.

Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie

  • Full Name:  Charles Ingalls
  • Born:  January 10, 1836
  • Died:  June 8, 1902
  • Wife:  Caroline Ingalls
  • Daughters: Mary Ingalls-Kendall, Laura Ingalls-Wilder, Carrie Ingalls, Grace Ingalls
  • Adopted Daughter: Cassandra Cooper Ingalls
  • Son, Deceased: Charles Ingalls Jr.
  • Adopted Sons: Albert Quinn Ingalls, James Cooper Ingalls
  • Actor:  Michael Landon

Charles is a loving father and has a strong relationship with his wife, Caroline. They brought up a large family and shares close relationship to his children. He navigates the many challenges of raising a family on the prairie through difficult challenges.

To know more about Charles Ingalls and his family, check out our article on the Little House on the Prairie – An American Classic TV Series.

Danny Tanner from Full House

  • Full Name:  Daniel Ernest Tanner
  • Wife, deceased: Pamela Tanner
  • Ex-wife:  Teri Tanner
  • Daughters:  D. J. Tanner-Fuller, Stephanie Tanner, Michelle Tanner
  • Actor:  Bob Saget

Danny Tanner is an archetypal dad. He sees himself as the “coolest” dad which his daughters disagree. Danny likes everything to be clean. He lives by the motto, “Clean is good, dirt is bad.” He is protective of his daughters and is challenged by being a widowed father of three children.

Carl Winslow from Family Matters

  • Occupation:  Policeman
  • Full Name:  Carlton Otis Winslow
  • Wife:  Harriette Winslow
  • Son:  Eddie Winslow
  • Adopted Son:  Jerry Jamal “3J” Jameson
  • Daughters:  Laura Winslow, Judy Winslow
  • Actor:  Reginald VelJohnson

Carl is a hardworking policeman. He takes his role very seriously as a breadwinner for his family. His ego at times put him in trouble with his wife, which he will usually end up conceding to her wishes. Their fights commonly end up by Harriette teaching him on how to resolve petty marital disputes. He also has regular disputes with his pesky neighbor Steve.  Carl tends to be stingy, mostly when he sees how much things will cost and will try to cut corners usually to his families detriment.

Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver

  • Full Name:  Ward Cleaver Jr.
  • Occupation:  White Collar (never specified)
  • Wife:  June Cleaver
  • Sons:  Wally Cleaver, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver
  • Actor:  Hugh Beaumont

Ward and June met when they were teens. The two dated and went to State college together. They got married and had two sons Wally and Theodore. Ward is a bit knowledgeable in tools and he do some minor repairs around their house. He is a good natured and disciplined man and focuses on teaching is sons to have morally strong characters.

Tom Bradford from Eight is Enough

  • Full Name:  Tom Bradford
  • Occupation: Newspaper Columnist
  • Wife:  Joan (Actress died during season one), Sandra Sue “Abby” Abbott
  • Sons:   David Bradford, Tommy Bradford, Nicholas Bradford
  • Daughters:  Mary, Joanie, Susan, Nancy, Elizabeth
  • Actor:  Dick Van Patten

Tom Bradford dealt in his own special way with the various small family dramas that arose week after week.  They were typically solved by the end of the episode with everyone being happy.  While there were comedic moments it also dealt with some of the heavier issues that we encounter in life.

These are just a few of the more well-known and beloved TV dads that have graced our TV screens over the years.  Certainly, there are many more and there will be more to come.

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