Silver Screen Artists

The TV DAD: We Tip our Hats to the Heroes of the Air Waves!

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TV DADS...We Salute you!!!

Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont): Ward is often remembered as archetypal suburban DAD of the babyboomer 1950s. Together with his wife June Cleaver (played by the elegant Barbara Billingsley!) the couple reached out to families across America at a pivotal time in our cultural timeline and reassured everyone that everything is A-OK and the notion of a reality based on wholesome idealism is always within reach!  The couple are the parents of Wally and Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver.  Within the confines of a typical episode from Leave It to Beaver you will find a misadventure committed by one or both of the boys, and ends with the children receiving a moral lecture from their father disclosing the positive lesson learned and a hot meal steaming with assurance from their mother. Ward Cleaver was always looked at as the true Role Model Dad...and over a half of a decade later, he still holds that title. Sadly, Hugh passed away in 1982.

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Michael Paul Brady (Robert Reed):  So can we even talk about TV dads and leave out the father from the hit show that was an Amerfican game-changer?? The Brady Bunch was responsible for letting the world know that some real life issues, such as divorce, were normal and life goes on in the presence of such situations. It helped us all feel a little more "normal" about our lives and the everyday antics we encounter!  Mike, was the father/widower of the Brady Family on The Brady Bunch. He married Carol Martin in 1969, at the age of 36 becoming stepfather to her three girls, Marcia, Jan, and Cindy Martin. By profession Mike was an architect which may have helped with the grocery bills for ALL OF THOSE MOUTHS!   But more importantly he, like Ward Cleaver, knew how to step in and offer the sound advice when his children were in a pickle.  Also, Like Ward, dads across America saw Mike Brady as a role model and several families were modeled after this classic dynamic! In both the orginal TV series and the TV films and specials, as well the the TV series spinoffs, "Mike" was portrayed by Robert Reed.

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Charles Ingalls (Michael Landon):  Even in 2016, every once in a while, we put our smart phones and tablets down and gaze out the window and imagine what life would be like if we lived among the Ingalls clan...tilling the land, sewing our clothes and churning our butter. We live in a techy-time where nost of us have lost our grip on what is simple and pure. Charles Ingalls, from Little House on the Prairie, was the definition of a father figure and ruler of the roust. The "go-to" guy who fixed whatever problem was thrown his way and went out of his way to see to it that his family was well fed and taken care of. A show like this is a nice way to escape the hectic world of today and remind ourselves that, once upon a time, screentime didn't exist. Michael Landon wrote, produced and directed many episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Michael Landon's portrayal of Charles has also credited as being one of the greatest television fathers of all time.  He also picked the cast members who were on the show. He will forever be missed and remembered as one of the most gentle souls on TV...

 

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Dr. Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke):   So now we are moving into the 1980s...calling all commodore 64s and ataris!! TV time was now becoming a lot more "regular" in the households across our nation. With this new regularity we were introduced to the Seaver family! They reside at 15 Robin Hood Lane in Huntington, Long Island, New York. Dr. Jason Seaver (Thicke), played a psychiatrist that works from home because his wife, Maggie, has gone back to work as an established reporter. Jason was greatly responsible for raising the kids which was a new concept for America to digest on a mainstream level. Sure, it wasn't the first time that this concept his the airwaves but it was definitely making this type of family dynamic a bit more "normal". Being that the 80s was really starting to bring to light the acceptance of gender neutrality, Growing pains was really showing that that woman can do more than bake cakes and vacuum living rooms! We needed this concept to become mainstream ...let's face it, Americans tend to model a lot of their life choices after what their favorite TV show portrayed! Bravo GROWING PAINS! And Bravo Jason and Maggie Seaver for showing the public that molds are meant to be broken and it is ok to step outside what your surrounding culture deems "normal"!

 

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Dan Connor (John Goodman):   Ok, Ok so it is on to Roseanne! Dan was the husband to fellow primary character Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr), and father to two daughters Darlene and Becky Conner, and two sons D.J. Conner and Jerry Garcia Conner on the hit show Roseanne. It was said that Roseanne had an actual crush on John Goodman at the show's start...maybe that helped in casting? Though, John Goodman has led quite the prolific career in both television and major motion pictures! Roseanne really helped the world realize that living the blue collar life was really the true "norm" and your family wasn't weird for having "problems"...let's face it, the Connors definitely dealt with some "situations"...they dealt with typical child bearing issues to teen crushes to drugs to pregnancy. Some of these concepts were knew to mainstream television and Roseanne helped make the world realize that you can function within dysfunction! Laugh if you must...criticize ROSEANNE if you must...but quite honestly this show was monumental in tearing down walls of mainstream expectation! 


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Danny Tanner (Bob Saget):  We often call the 1950s a "pivotal point in time" when in reality, if you think about it, every decade is a pivotal point in time. The 1980s definitely started showing the world that there existed a world where nothing was extraordinary and everything was normal. We were shown several different societal dynamics and were told, HEY, it's ok! Life Happens! Full House is a sitcom created by Jeff Franklin for ABC. The show featured a widowed father, Danny Tanner, who calls upon his best friend and brother-in-law to help raise his three daughters. His wife is killed in a car acciden so news anchorman Danny Tanner recruits his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (a  musician) and best friend Joey Gladstone (who was a stand-up comedian) to help raise his three young daughters: D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle...They live in beautiful a San Francisco home (Painted Ladies!). Over time, the three men as well as the children bond and become closer to one another and once again the world is taught that there is indeed life outside of what was once considered normal...let's face it, in life, at times, we are dealt a hand that is at times hard to play. But when faced with this adversity we must rise above by pooling our resources and learning to carry on...

 

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In season two, Danny is reassigned from his duties as sports anchor by his television station to become co-host of a local morning television show, Wake Up, San Francisco, and is teamed up with Nebraska native Rebecca Donaldson. Jesse and Becky eventually fall in love, and get married in season four. In season five, Becky gives birth to twin sons, Nicky and Alex...This was another show that let people understand that life isn't a fairytale...Danny Seaver won many DAD awards for being Dad, Mom and best friend...Good Job BOB!



As we moved into the new millennium we were living on a new planet...The idea of "wholesome family life" was only found on reruns of Nick at Nite! Sure, there were still some good family values shows out there...but people were all done with that genre...BRING ON HOMEER SIMPSON AND PETER GRIFFIN!!!! And...They don't even need any explanation!

 

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