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TV dads through the decades: A Father's Day retrospective

Our fathers are irreplaceable. And Father’s Day is a great time to tell Dad just how much he means.

But I think we'd be lying if we didn't admit that our favorite TV dads hold a special place in our hearts. Here are a few TV dads through the decades to get you reminiscing.

“Father Knows Best” 1954 to 1960

Jim Anderson, husband to Margaret, and father to Betty, James and Kathy, whom he calls “Princess,”  “Bud” and “Kitten,” is the quintessential 1950s father. Like many television shows at the time, “Father Knows Best” actually began on radio, airing on NBC in 1949, 5 years before, according to Unlike some of the other shows on in the 1950s, it aimed to portray a typical American Family.

“The Andy Griffith Show” 1960 to 1968

Even if you never watched a minute of “The Andy Griffith Show,” it’s likely you’d know the show by the snappy, whistling song in its opening credits. The show stars Andy Griffith, who plays a widower sheriff named Andy Taylor. Andy and his son, Opie, who is played by Ron Howard, live with Andy’s Aunt Bee in the idyllic fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., where there’s barely any crime.

“The Brady Bunch” 1969 to 1974

You know how this one goes. It’s the story of a man named Brady…

Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed, was an architect and a widower with three sons: Greg, Peter and Bobby. He met a lady, Carol, played by Florence Henderson, who had three daughters: Marcia, Jan and Cindy. The Bradys have to adjust to raising a blended family, and there are laughs and lessons along the way.

“Who’s The Boss” 1984 to 1992

When retired baseball player Tony Micelli, played by Tony Danza, decided to move himself and his daughter out of Brooklyn, he took a job as a housekeeper in Connecticut. In the process, Tony and his daughter Samantha, played by Alyssa Milano, form family bonds with Micelli’s employer, Angela Bower, played by Judith Light, her son Jonathon and Angela's vivacious mother, Mona.

“Full House” 1987 to 1995

Danny Tanner, with those father-daughter heart-to-heart talks, cheesy jokes and his obsession with cleaning, is definitely on the list of top TV dads. Portrayed by Bob Saget, Danny Tanner is a widower raising three daughters — DJ, Stephanie and Michelle. He enlists the help of his brother-in-law, played by John Stamos, and his best friend, played by Dave Coulier.

Just thinking about all their trials and tribulations makes you long for some T.G.I.F., doesn’t it?

“The Bernie Mac Show” 2001 to 2006

Bernie Mac gets thrust into the role of father to three children he cares for on “The Bernie Mac Show.”

His two nieces and nephew come to live with him and his wife after their mom, Bernie’s sister, is arrested for drugs. During monologues with the camera, Bernie Mac complains about the doggone kids who are always giving him trouble, but he grows to love them. And the children's growing pains and antics make for some very entertaining comedic material.

“Modern Family” 2009 to present

Although there are many dad characters on this popular show, two of the most modern dads are Mitchell and Cameron, a gay couple who adopt their daughter, Lily, from Vietnam. The couple introduce Lily to the rest of their extended family during the first season with dramatic flair, complete with music from "The Lion King" while Cameron hoists baby Lily into the air, and that's just the beginning of what's in store for Lily as she gets older.