TV Guide’s ’50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time’

Jan 3, 2014  •  Post A Comment

1. Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
2. Ben Cartwright (Bonanza)
3. John Walton, Sr. (The Waltons)
4. Charles Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)
5. Danny Williams (Make Room for Daddy)
6. Jim Anderson (Father Knows Best)
7. Steve Douglas (My Three Sons)
8. Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show)
9. Howard Cunningham (Happy Days)
10. Ray Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)
11. Reverend Eric Camden (7th Heaven)
12. Steven Keaton (Family Ties)
13. Dan Conner (Roseanne)
14. Mike Brady (The Brady Bunch)
15. Tom Corbett (Courtship of Eddie’s Father)
16. Alex Stone (The Donna Reed Show)
17. Forrest Bedford (I’ll Fly Away)
18. George Lopez (George Lopez)
19. Herman Munster (The Munsters)
20. Tim Taylor (Home Improvement)
21. Ozzie Nelson (The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet)
22. Rob Petrie (The Dick Van Dyke Show)
23. Tony Micelli (Who’s the Boss?)
24. Archie Bunker (All in the Family)
25. Sandy Cohen (The OC)
26. Doug Lawrence (Family)
27. Michael Kyle (My Wife and Kids)
28. Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver)
29. Jack Bristow (Alias)
30. Chester A. Riley (Life of Riley)
31. Andy Sipowicz (NYPD Blue)
32. Lucas McCain (The Rifleman)
33. Tom Bradford (Eight is Enough)
34. Philip Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
35. Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
36. Rick Sammler (Once and Again)
37. Jason Seaver (Growing Pains)
38. John Robinson (Lost in Space)
39. Martin Lane (The Patty Duke Show)
40. Will Girardi (Joan of Arcadia)
41. Jim Walsh (Beverly Hills, 90210)
42. Fred Sanford (Sanford and Son)
43. Andy Brown (Everwood)
44. George Jefferson (The Jeffersons)
45. Rocky Rockford (The Rockford Files)
46. Michael Steadman (thirtysomething)
47. Bernie Mac (Bernie Mac)
48. Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules)
49. Graham Chase (My So-Called Life)
50. Benjamin Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

bill cosby as cliff huxtable.pngBill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable


  1. Where’s Julius Rock? Everybody hates Chris…

    • Nice one! He was a great dad! Ray barone tho? Please!

      • How about Mr. Sheffield from the Nanny?

    • 🤔 Soooooo James Evans from Good Times couldn’t make this list? Smh 😔

  2. Where’s Robbie Ray Stewart from Hannah Montana?

  3. they should have danny tanner from full house…

    • Daniel Tanner. Smh. He should be in the tip 10 for sure, and Barone barely even acknowledged his kids. I could understand a bit if they added barones pops but under no circumstances barone himself…

  4. How did Al Bundy not make the list???!?

  5. I agree we had some good tv dads I think a tv dad knowing and understanding how to resolve a problem without violence and spitefulness is great I tip my hat to the producers for choosing good actors to fulfill what we need in life

    • Where is Red Foreman??

  6. Al Bundy not being on the list is a disgrace!

    • Why should al Bundy be on any list of great dad’s. Al Bundy is the worst tv dad ever

      • same reason fred Sanford made it “YOU BIG DUMMY”. they were popular and funny!

        • Popular and funny does NOT make the best TV dad you idiot

  7. Frank Reynolds

  8. Why is ray barone higher than dan conner?everybody loves Raymond barely ever even involved scenes with the children while Roseanne was all about parenting and dan conner is number one in my book!

  9. Does being a serial rapist knock Bill Cosby from #1 ???

    • If that is so, than you need to get rid of Reverend Camden. He was predator!!! Danny Tanner had a potty mouth (off camera) according to the mothers of the girls.

    • No it does not. You cannot take that credit away from him. You must separate the character from the man.

    • No stupid

  10. Julius Rock should be in the top 5 and al bundy deserves to be left off.

  11. bill Cosby should immidiately be reevaluated to zero status.His recent serial rape charges of innocent women, being raped by the use of drugs, highlights the need to remove him of who represents a decent best ever father role model.

    • You have to judge the character and the performer of that character and not the actor as a person.

    • It’s a character, Bill Cosby is not number 1, Cliff Huxtable is. The character and the actor are different people.

      • adding to this, the writers have a large part in the end result of a television character as well.

    • i agree completely

  12. Is about the character not the actor.

  13. Andy Taylor should be number one.

    • Agreed

    • No, he shouldn’t.

      • Why?

    • Probably so. Cosby should be removed, but being such a “lovable” black man and serial rapist….

      • shut up stupid

        • You shut up

  14. What about Danny Tanner from Full House?

  15. How does Morty Seinfeld not make the list? Losers!! Archie Bunker should have been much higher. A working man that loved his little girl

  16. Charles Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie should be number one. My husband and.and I would love to have him as a father. Cosby shouldn’t be on the list.

    • I agree that Charles Ingalls should be number one with Burt Hummel from glee at number two

      • you are stupid, cosby is good at N1

  17. It is not about Bill Cosby, you idiots! Cliff Huxtable is a character, and the character was a PHENOMENAL father!

    • But because the actor playing him is such a disgrace, anything from him should be removed. I never thought the character was anything special. Cosby is a racist in addition to being a sex criminal.

    • TRUE statement

  18. Bob saget as Danny Tanner

  19. No Red Forman? No Al Bundy?

    • No, because the list was about the “greatest” TV fathers. Not the most irresponsible or obnoxious.

  20. Where’s Al Bundy? He surely should have made the list!!

  21. No Gomez Adams rich and you can blow up dynamite in the house

  22. It is funny, but Without seeing your list I would have listed Ben Cartwright as number one, Charles Ingalls as number two, John Walton as number three, Cliff Huxtable as number four, Andy Taylor as number five, and the great Lucas McCain as number six. I also like John Kennish in Switched at Birth. It is kinda strange having Bill Cosby on this list now – very sad!

    • and you are very stupid

  23. How did you miss James Evans, Ward Cleaver, Jock Ewing, Timmy Martin’s dad?

  24. And don’t forget Gomez Adams and Steve Douglas

  25. You got it right. Cliff Huxtable should be number one. Some people need to be able to judge the character, not the actor who played the character. Sin is sin, and all sin is wrong. If this list would’ve been compiled according to how saintly the actors lived their personal lives, many would not have made the list.

  26. Al Bundy, hands down, should have been somewhere on this list!

  27. Are you guys seriously looking pass homer simpson? He suck as a father. In that case peter griffin should have been on the list we all know how good of a father he is.

  28. Carl winslow from family matters, al bundy, and robert peterson from the parenthood should have made the list too.

  29. How did Andy Sipowicz beat out Philip Banks? NYPD Blue had nothing to do with the kids. James Avery played an amazing father.

    • Harvey Lacey, husband of Mary Beth Lacey from Cagney and Lacey, was an excellent TV dad, and a very supportive husband to a TV cop.

  30. Bill Cosby did not make the list. Cliff Huxtable did. Bill Cosby played a good dad = Cliff Huxtable. It is separate from the person he is in real life. Sad.


    • Probably because his answer to everything was to beat his kids with a belt.

      • Discipline is what makes a better child

        • Shhhh. Discipline is a dirty word these days.

  32. Yep…..fred sanford !

  33. Cliff huxtable should be removed immediately and be replaced with Charles Ingalls. Cliff reputation is disgraceful.

    • Cliff Huxtable’s reputation IS still intact. What Bill Cosby did was shameful but the character did none of those things. You can’t discredit a person’s life’s work because the person turns out to be a creep.

  34. All the focus is on Cosby. You do know that the actor who played REVEREND Camden in 7th Heaven was a pedophile, don’t you?

  35. where’s robert young? – aka jim anderson as the quintessential dad in FATHER KNOWS BEST!!

    • Look again. He’s #6.

  36. They took The Cosby show off TV. Why haven’t they taken Seventh Heaven Off TV?

  37. I don’t understand how Ray Baron, George Lopez, and Homer Simpson made the list. What about Danny Tanner ?

  38. Why are people so up in arms that Cliff Huxtable is number 1. Cliff is the character, he was an awesome dad. Bill Cosby created and portrayed that character. You cannot take away his accomplishments based on recent accusations. It’s ludicrous. Playing a character doesn’t mean you have that character’s attributes, it’s called ACTING, sheesh lighten up!

  39. No Ricky Ricardo? Ay! Ay! Ay!

    • They forgot Fred Flintstone, too! 🙁


  41. I think “George Baxter” should be on this list. Maybe I’m bias because I enjoyed “HAZEL”. Eventhough “Hazel” interacted more with “Harold” than “George” did, it didn’t make him any less a “Great TV Dad”. Personally I don’t think that “Jock Ewing” was a great “TV Dad” at all. Neither would I have chosen “Fred Sanford”, “Archie Bunker”, “Ray Barone” “Homer Simpson”, “Fred Flintstone”or “Al Bundy. I would have chosen “James Evans Sr” though. And “Jim Anderson” did make the list, at Number 6. Also “Ward Cleaver” made the list, too, at Number 28.

  42. HTF is Charles Ingalls not #1?! Blasphemy! And what’s with Cosby being #1? Seriously?

    • Yes stupid..SERIOUSLY

  43. Azale-You got it exactly right!

  44. The top 5 is total BS! How can anyone ever beat out Charles Ingalls as the Greatest TV Dad ever? I don’t take into account that Bill Cosby is a pervert at all, or take away from Ben Cartwright or John Walton as they were great TV Dad’s. But from the lessons Charles taught throughout the Little House series, well, everyone else as the greatest pales in comparison…. IMO.

  45. First, how is Homer Simpson on the list, he abuses Bart, choking him (child abuse), he’s uncaring for his kids most the time, not to mention Marge.
    Secondly, ward cleaver should be lots higher on the list, he’s always caring for his kids, way more than most of the father’s higher up on the list

  46. Don’t agree w/Ray Barone. He had very little interaction w/his kids, as others have already said. I would like to add Edward Stratton from Silver Spoons. The show itself had its ups and downs, but I thought Ed and Rick had a very positive, mutually caring relationship, and they learned a lot from each other.

  47. What about Sully from Dr.Quinn Medicine Woman. He was a father to them before they were even his kids.

  48. Also, Danny Tanner and Phillip Drummond. It’s difficult to put Mr. Drummond on this list, due to all of the bad publicity Diff’rent Strokes has gotten, but on the show, at least, he was a good father to Kimberly, Arnold, Williis, and eventually Sam.

  49. John Walton as number one Charles from little house on pra as two Howard Cunningham three bonanza fourth

  50. You left out Mr Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver

    • He was number 28. I think he could have been higher, at least above Ray Barone.

  51. How about Jed clampett from beverly hillbillys

  52. Travesty that Red Foreman is not on this list. That’s how 70s parenting actually happened!

  53. It’s insane that James Evans Sr. (Good Times) Isn’t on the list, Okay I know he could yell and scream, giving the needed corporal punishment to the kids; JJ, Michael and Thelma but he’s a loving father, protector and an honest underpaid hardworking father with his loving wife Florida Evans from Maude (Played by Bea Arthur in the early seventies who eventually starred in the Golden Girls), Willona Woods as their family friend.Hopefully they revise this list for the future.

    • Sorry, he had to get them to work hard in life and keep them out of trouble because of the problems of Gangs, drugs, muggers etc.

  54. I vote to move Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie up to number 1.

  55. What about Rick Castle. Or. Merrill Stubing. Both single dads that brought good girls.

  56. what about rick castle, Merrill stubing, Nash bridges. All raised very good girls.

  57. Such common denominator nonsense. Jack Arnold (Wonder Years) needs to be on this list.

  58. Ward Clever should be much higher.

  59. I don’t know who made this list up, but I don’t think some of these people belong on your list, and, I feel the orded is wrong.

  60. No Way! Ward Clever was the Greatest!

  61. Ward Cleaver is number one by far. Who made up this list? It is crazy wrong in my opinion. Some of these dads above Ward Cleaver shouldn’t be listed at all. Take them off and put them on the worst dad list

  62. Ward Cleaver is definitely a top 10 father!!

  63. Conrad Bain from Different Strokes not being there is a travesty. The man adopted two boys and had a daughter to raise on his own.

  64. Number 1 should have been and always be, Red Foreman.

  65. Take a trip back to the halcyon days of TV when a Dad was also a hero to look up to. Saturday mornings, AMC. If Lucas McCain doesn’t make your top 10, you were never a boy who owned a toy Winchester!

  66. For keeping a cool head and giving wise advice: Jed Clampett!

  67. New one for the list. Jack Pearson from This Is Us beats them all (and Randall makes the top 10 too).

  68. It’s bad enough that Martin Crane isn’t on the list. But no one even put him in the comments? Sheesh.

  69. This list is trash. If the world had more Archie Bunkers, Al Bundys, and Red Foremans I’d be willing to bet there’d be less whiny ass kids running around and I’m 100% certain the school and work place shootings never would’ve become an issue. The Huxtables approach is garbage. You’ll all realize it when my children or signing the paychecks for yours.

    • Any other ignorant cliches you want to spout about the “youth of today”? Or will you just be sticking with the standard issue, myopic generational hate that every single outgoing generation has had for kids since the dawn of time?

    • And yeah, Gloria never, ever whined on “All in the Family”, lol.

      If you’re going to spout back ignorant platitudes that you’ve heard others say without giving the words even the bare minimum of self-reflection or coherent thought, at least try using semi-plausible examples to support your weak, tired soap box diatribe.

    • AND YOUR COMMENT IS GARBAGE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………STUPID

  70. I cannot believe that Hawaii Five 0 is not mentioned. The entire show is about fatherhood. There are 10 episodes a season that are father son bonding episodes.

  71. Lucas McCain far and away, everybody else wannabes. You saw his very best and very worst-just like real life, not sugar coated and one dimensional.

  72. Ward Cleaver should be top 10

  73. Rocky Rockford from the Rockford Files should have been in the. he loved his son and was always there to admonish him or to help him out. top ten of the best television dads. He loved his son He was always there to admonish his son or to help him out

  74. ward is 28th list is done iam out

  75. # 47 Bernie Mac (Bernie Mac) was an uncle, not a Dad. So all or any unnamed Dads can go in at #47. Like, Tom Corbett (The Courtship of Eddie’s Father).

  76. It is all about race. That’s why Bill Cosby is number1.Not Michael Landon who played Charles Ingalls .

    • It may be partially racially motivated, but CLIFF HUXTABLE is rated #1, not Bill Cosby. Cosby’s actions should not take away from what was a great family show.

      And I’ll agree with others. Ray Barone was popular, and he was funny. But he was NOT a great dad. He spent most of his time avoiding his kids altogether and almost never interacted with them.

  77. Cliff Huxtable the token black man , why is it on every poll a black man has to be number 1, because of politics , he should have been in the top 5 , no one came close to Charles ingalls he was way out front of his on screen dad been cartright

    • And thats why you are Barney Fife, being stupid and a second fiddle (by a VERY long shot…I might add) to Andy, so shut yo mouth up..put the gun away (that has ONLY one bullet LOL), give Otis his dinner (that aunt Bee made for him) and go sit in a corner somewhere LOL

  78. Marty Crane from Frasier definitely needs to be on this list.

  79. To all you who claim we should separate the character from the actor when referring to Bill Cosby. You can bet that if this list had been compiled in 2018 instead of 2004, he would not be at number one! In fact, he would probably not be on the list at all.

    • Well………..who cares what YOU bet……..guess what, you can bet that you are stupid, and very stupid at that…………………………………..STUPID

  80. William Russ (Alan Matthews from Boy Meets World)

  81. Thanks for the opportunity. Being biracial Aftican and Italian. Hands down, James Evans of Good Times. Best father ever portrayed on TV for people of color. In actuality one of the best images of a father regardless of race.

  82. I’ll leave it up to the comment chain to decide, but three of these TV dads should be replaced with James Evans, Danny Tanner and Carl Winslow. Period.

  83. TV Guide is totally wrong with their list, Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver was the best TV dad of all. Certainly better than Robert Young on Father knows best or Bill Cosby and all the rest of them in TV guide’s list!!!!!

  84. Ward Cleaver remembered what it was like to be a kid. That’s why he was the best.

  85. You ranked Herman Munster and Homer Simpson ahead of Ward Cleaver as the best TV father????? Absurd!!!

    • Absurd is NOT the word, it should be a death sentence to the one who compiled this list

  86. I wonder the demographics of the survey that they got these dads from. Living in chicago in the 80’s and 90’s we didn’t know half these dads. Where’s Carl Winslow, James Evans Sr, Daniel “Danny Tanner” Ernest, Cleveland Brown,

  87. How is Carl Winslow from family matters not on this list? He was a pretty great tv dad and seemed to always be there for his kids and family.

  88. James Evans from Good Time should definitely be on this list.

  89. Carl Winslow from Family Matters and James Evans from Good Times should be in the Top 10. this is a terrible list. Ray Barone the man who made fun of his son for not being good in basketball made the Top 10. He also admitted he would rather play golf than spend time with his kids. Dan Conner of Roseanne did not talk to his daughter for year. What a joke of a list!

  90. No love for single parents on here. Danny Tanner raised four girls, alone, and did it flawlessly.
    Ray Barrone? He was funny, but very self absorbed as a father, just like his father on the show.

  91. Who put this list together? I’ve watched television for nearly 70 years and Ward Cleaver has to be the number 1 best television dad. And you got him at 28. Number two would be Father Knows Best (Jim Anderson) and then Andy Taylor.

    I suspect whoever voted didn’t see much of these three.

  92. Where’s Gomez Addams? He loved his wife, cared about his children (perhaps was a lottle too indulgent) and took care of his extended family. The Addams Family is probaly the most loving, supportive and well-adjusted family on TV.

  93. Not only did they forget Carl Winslow. Carl Winslow should be number 1.

  94. This was in TV Guide in 1994 which is probably why Ray Barone isn’t on the list. What I don’t understand is why Herbert Anderson from Dennis the Menace who played Henry MItchell didn’t make the list. He was a way better father that Archie Bunker also I prefer Fred Flintstone and George Jetson over Homer Simpson.

  95. How about the father from family affair Bill Davis

    • Ummm…..He was an uncle, not a father. Kind of the premise of the show.

      • If #23 Tony Micelli was eligible then Bill Davis should be given a fair shot at this list.

  96. Denis the Menace father Henry Mitchell

  97. How did Bill Cosby make number 1 ?!! Bill is a sexual predator! He doesn’t deserve to be on the list!

  98. I nominate Walter White!

  99. …. and Jed Clampett? Something ain’t right here.

  100. How about Elliot stabler of SVU? Tom Bradfrord from eight is enough. Chase Gioberti from falcon crest. Daniel Boone from Daniel Boone. Edward Stratton from silver spoons. Captain Stubbing from the love boat. Mack makenzie from knots landing. Blake carrington from dynasty. Michael taylor and Joey Harris from my two dads. Phillip banks from fresh prince of bel air. Frank lambert step by step.

  101. Like the list. Notable exceptions #1 and #11, in light of more recent data about the actors who played them. Still, the roles and the actors are separate. (AND, none of us is beyond redemption). Why was Ozzy so low? Agree w Ben Cartwright.

  102. Hiw about captain Stubbing from the Love boat? jack and Bobby Ewing from Dallas, RedForeman from That70’s Show, RichRd Gilmore, the Gilmore girls,Rufus Humphrey Gossip Girl,Andy BrownEverwood, Daniel from DanielBoone, Horatio Caine fromCSI Miami

  103. Michael Sredman and Elliot Weston from thirtey something, Mitch buccannon from bay watch. Keith Mars from Veronica Mars. Chase Giobrti from Falcon Crest. Tom Scavo from Desperate Housewives. Michael Hogan from Valerie/The Hogan family. Phillip Drummond different strokes. WoodNewton evening shade. Donald Westphall st. Elsewhere. Andrew Thatcher life goes on.Ethan Cord paradise.

    • I loved The Hogan Family! I’m friends with the twins now n my 16 year old self who wrote them a fan letter wouldn’t believe it! 😊

  104. where is James Evans from good times??

  105. No mention of Frank Reagan anywhere? Blue Bloods is all about family and doing what’s right. As a father, Frank Reagan tops most of these on the list.

  106. Astounded Frank Lambert didn’t make the cut! Al Bundy deserves an honourable mention though

  107. Also where’s Red Forman? And Mitch Leery aka Dawson’s Dad? 😱

  108. This list is the equivalent of the rock ‘n roll hall of fame, useless. Ward Cleaver at 28? Give me a break!

  109. Herman Munster? Never!! Change it to Gomez Addams!!

  110. Not sure how I feel about the list. What about Red Forman? Floyd Henderson? Maybe I’m biased but I thought they were awesome tv dads!

  111. Can we remove Bill Cosby, PLEASE

  112. This might be a list of the most well-known TV dads, but “greatest”?? If you’re talking about the quality of their character and parenting, Lucas McCain should be much higher on the list, and Ray Barone, Dan Conner and Archie Bunker belong on a list of WORST dads ever.

  113. OMG, how about Brian Keith? (Father figure on Family Affair) Buffy and Jody and Cissy?

  114. Most of the list is a rogues gallery of trendy celebrities. Hugh Beaumont is far and away the most moral and understanding of all the TV dads. He was the same on screen as off, which is why he set such a great example for all of us.

  115. Bill Cosby at #1 tells you all you need to know about this list. There’s now an underlying dark side to The Cosby Show, much like OJ Simpson.

    My vote goes to Chuck Connors as The Rifleman. There was more fatherly wisdom dispensed on that show and the relationship between father and son was so sweet and real that it puts all these others to shame.

  116. Cliff Huxtable as in Cosby? Time to remove that.

  117. Ward Cleaver played by Hugh Beaumont consistently delivered sound and considered advice. He disciplined with understanding and gave reasons for having to do so. He allowed the boys to learn from their mistakes. Writers deserve so much of the credit for the dialogue the actors on this list spoke, but Hugh Beaumont delivered it so believably that he has to be considered number one. He makes one believe that Ward Cleaver actually existed.

  118. Umm…BillCosby? A sexual deviant. Woman abuser at #1?

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  120. I’m a big fan of Bill Davis and Phillip Drummond. I would hope that they would at least be included in the top 100’s.

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