No parent will say parenting is easy. (If they do, they’re lying.) But they might say it’s the best job in the world, and hearing their child’s laughter or watching them skip through a puddle or walk across the stage earning the degree they’ve worked so hard for fills them with so much joy and pride that all the hard stuff almost washes away. But some dads really do make it look easy, don’t they? Their love for their kids and commitment to raising kind, hard-working humans is so evident that you know fatherhood is 100% the right fit for them. Well, celebrity dads are no different, and here are 20 of our favorite celebrity dads who you know are absolute rock-star fathers.
20 Celebrity Dads Who Are Killing It at Fatherhood
1. Ryan Reynolds
Our favorite thing about Ryan Reynolds is that he loves his family fiercely, but he also jokes about parenthood — and we all need humor to get through it. Tweets like this one and this one showcase his sense of humor, but there are also a lot of quotes from the proud dad of four that proves his commitment to being a good dad. “We love it. We would be idiots to do this again if we didn’t love it,” Reynolds tells ET Canada after the birth of baby No. 4.
2. Nate Berkus
If you’re an HGTV fan like I am, you’ve probably seen the couple/design team Nate and Jeremiah and marveled over the gorgeous homes they create. But for many of us, we’ve known and loved Nate since before his HGTV fame, back when he was a regular on Oprah, designing people’s homes and changing their lives.
Today, Nate’s a doting dad to his two kids — Poppy and Oskar — and the happy family of four lives in a beautifully decorated home in Manhattan. And although they love to gush about their adorable kids, they also keep it real because kids are, well, kids. For example, when Oskar joined the family, Poppy was three years old and reacted exactly as one might expect a three-year-old to react to a new baby brother. “She pays just enough attention,” Nate said at the time, as shared in an article on House Beautiful. “She gives him a kiss in the morning and ignores him the rest of the day.”
And their little girl has opinions — which we love! House Beautiful shares this cute quip from the proud dad: “Poppy has opinions about everything,” Nate laughed. “She’ll tell us if she doesn’t like what we’re wearing, and the biggest compliment is if she looks at one of us and goes ‘oooh la la.’”
3. Adam Sandler
This veteran actor has been on the dad scene for over a decade and is raising two teenage daughters. When accepting the Film Tribute Award at the 2022 Gotham Awards, Sandler said he didn’t write a speech, so his daughters helped him out (and roasted him a bit, proving they share dad’s sense of humor!) Their speech first jabbed at Dad for buying his own “fake mini-Oscars that say ‘Father of the Year,’” and then went on to say, “We also wish we could be at tonight’s award show with all of you sophisticated people, but Daddy said, and we quote, ‘I don’t want to spend a whole night that’s supposed to be about me and my greatness listening to you two newly pubetized buffoons screaming, ‘Where is Timothée Chalamet?’”
We can only imagine the laughs that must be had in that household.
4. Anderson Cooper
Long-time fans of Anderson Cooper will remember the emotional moment he announced on his CNN news show that he was a dad. It was the height of the pandemic panic in April 2020, when we all needed to hear some good news.
“On Monday, I became a father,” he says, with a chuckle, adding, “I’ve never actually said that before out loud, and it still kind of astonishes me. I’m a dad, I have a son, and I want you to meet him.” Beaming with pride and joy, the new dad introduces Wyatt Cooper to the world, who was three days old and named after his grandpa, who died when Anderson Cooper was 10. “I hope I can be as good a dad as he was,” Cooper added, getting choked up several times through the announcement and seeming shocked at the fact that he is a father.
“He is sweet and soft and healthy and I am beyond happy,” the emotional dad continued, talking about how as a gay kid, he never thought fatherhood would be an option for him, and he is grateful for all who paved the way before him so that now it is. And, perhaps the best part is when Anderson makes the understatement of the year, saying, “I’ve done the diapers, and it’s… an interesting process.” Interesting it is.
5. Mark Wahlberg
Most ’90s kids know him as Marky Mark, who modeled for Calvin Klein. Today’s kids know him as the tough guy in the Transformers movies. But to his family, the primary role they know Mark Wahlberg for is Dad. And this dad takes his job very seriously, as he knows he is his children’s first role model.
“I think the most important thing is to be an example,” the dad of four said in an interview. “For me, that is my work ethic that I have, the kind of focus that I have, my faith, what I have with my family, as well as my profession and the other businesses that I’m involved with.”
And the celebrity dad added, “You can preach one thing and if you’re doing another, they’re still seeing what you’re doing. And actions obviously speak louder than words.”
6. Ricky Martin
Did you know that our favorite Livin’ La Vida Loca singer is a busy dad of FOUR? And he’d love to have even more kids? That’s right — Ricky Martin and his husband, Jwan Yosef, are parents to teenage twins and two preschoolers — all born via surrogate. And when you see pics of him and his kids, you can see how much he soaks up all the joys of fatherhood.
In an interview with Ellen, Martin says he wants to continue to normalize families like his—families with nothing but love for one another. “I’m very happy,” he told Ellen. “Every time I have the opportunity to talk about my family and let the world know that we’re good people, and how we feel and love is really — I just wanna normalize families like mine.”
The celebrity dad also tells People, “I remember every Sunday in my grandparents’ house — we were 34 grandkids. I always said, ‘One day, I want to open the door to my house and see many kids running at me saying, ‘Daddy, Daddy, Dad!’ That’s something I’ve always dreamed of.”
7. James Van Der Beek
Many ’90s teens were shocked when James Van Der Beek’s family started showing up in our IG feed with their six kids! Whether you were team Pacey or team Dawson, you were likely invested in their love triangle with Joey Potter. And now Dawson is a parent, just like us.
In an interview with Good Morning America, when asked how he feels about fatherhood, the busy dad responded that it’s “the craziest thing I’ve ever done” but also “the thing that’s made me happiest.” And he adds that having kids “changed everything” for him.
“What you genuinely want is to take care of them, to make them feel safe, to keep them safe, to connect with them and feel that joy. Your life becomes shared and your joys become shared joys, and in a really beautiful way, that expands your level of circuitry out to other people instead of just keeping it all for your own gratification,” Van Der Beek says.
8. Kevin Hart
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart isn’t just out there making people laugh. The dad of four is also committed to bringing more positive depictions of Black fatherhood to the big screen. His movie “Fatherhood,” which premiered in 2021, tells the story of a widower who must take on fatherhood alone. “I was able to portray a Black man on the big screen in a positive light, which is something you don’t see much of,” he said in an interview with Variety, adding that this story will “uplift and motivate fathers to understand that we’re needed. There’s a value to having us and what an amazing value it is when the job is done right.”
Hart also tells Variety that as much as he jokes about many things, one thing he is 100% serious about is his role as a dad. “I can only hope that as I continue to progress in my career, that people see just how seriously I take fatherhood. Perfect I am not. But one thing that I don’t play games about are my kids. I never have and I never will.”
9. Chris Hemsworth
What’s it like having a dad as a superhero? If you ask Chris Hemsworth’s kids, they’ll probably say their dad is really fun! Because, according to the actor who has played Thor for over a decade, that’s his “dad” superpower.
“I think I’m fun with the kids,” the proud celebrity dad said in an interview with Extra. “I think I’m creative. They’re all very active kids with big, vivid imaginations and so am I. We get outside and explore and play whatever we want. It’s what it’s about.”
10. Neil Patrick Harris
Their Halloween pics alone prove how much fun Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka have as dads to their twins. And Harris had admitted that many of your “rules” go out the window once you have kids.
“With kids, you just have to go with the flow more and not have any expectations,” he tells People. And he’s quoted as saying, “You have to be adaptable because they constantly keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit their food out on the carpet.” Isn’t that the truth?
And he values the importance of supporting his partner, even if they parent differently. “David is the most remarkable human being with parenting,” Harris said in an interview. “He’ll go harvest vegetables. He’ll bring them in, break them down, have lunch provided for them. He’ll figure out dinner, he’ll start dinner. Then he’s off writing a new television series that he’s about to start filming and pitching for a company. Then he’ll exercise. I don’t know how he does five things simultaneously. So my long-winded answer to your question of how do we support each other? I just respect him. I respect all that he does.”
11. John Legend
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen have always shared their lives publicly; now that they’re parents to Luna, Miles, and Esti, their parenting is on center stage these days.
Legend credits his very “hands-on” dad (who raised John mostly on his own due to his mother’s battle with addiction) for helping him become the dad he is today. “Having a hands-on dad like that clearly was a good influence for me,” says the 44-year-old singer-songwriter in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment. “Some of the things he used to say to me when I was a kid, I end up saying similar things to my kids; I find myself sounding like him when I talk to my kids, unconsciously or subconsciously! So, he really showed us what it meant to be loving, to teach us character and kindness and balance, and I’ll try to pass that on to our kids.”
12. Jason Momoa
The Aquaman and Game of Thrones star is a dad to two kids — Wolf and Lola — and has been open in many interviews about what fatherhood means to him, especially since he grew up without a dad and had no example to follow.
“There’s no other way to express what it really feels like to be a father, to be willing to do anything in the world for someone other than yourself. It’s a beautiful thing to be a parent,” he said in an interview with Vogue.
In talking with InStyle, the proud dad talks about how he really wants to get this fatherhood thing right. “I don’t want to just tell my son, ‘Because I said so.’ I really want to connect, and I want him to be vulnerable and open.”
And he later adds, “I’m a warrior, and I will lay it down, but I’m also the first one to say, ‘I have a lot of problems, and I want to be able to correct those problems,’” adding that “we all have the feminine and the male side in us, and we need to embrace both.”
13. Barack Obama
When Barack Obama is with his girls, you can see the pride and joy pour out of him. We watched those kids grow up on the world stage, and now they are beautiful young adults, off chasing their dreams — with Dad’s love and support, always.
In his Father’s Day message in 2008, Obama famously said, “What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”
And, reflecting on how we, as parents, need to let our kids grow into whoever they are meant to be, not who we are molding them to be, Obama said this in a podcast interview with Bruce Springsteen: “Those seeds of who they are and the pace and ways in which they’re gonna unfold are just uniquely theirs… A branch is gonna sprout when it’s gonna sprout. A flower’s gonna pop when it’s gonna pop. You just roll with that unfolding, that unfurling of who they are, being comfortable just discovering them as opposed to feeling as if it’s a project.”
14. Jimmy Fallon
Like many of us, Jimmy Fallon admits he used to judge parents of screaming children, and then he became one and was humbled very quickly.
“When I didn’t have kids, if I heard a crying baby in the restaurant, I would think, ‘Can you stop the crying and go around the block?’ Now I would be like, ‘Just give me the baby — how can I help? I’ve been there,’” the dad of two said in an interview.
Now that he’s learned a thing or two throughout his dad years, Fallon has channeled those experiences into several successful children’s books, including “This Is Baby,” “Everything Is Mama,” and “5 More Sleeps Til Christmas.” And he credits his kids for the inspiration!
15. Alexis Ohanian
Husband to tennis star Serena Williams and co-founder of Reddit, celebrity dad Alexis Ohanian will soon be a dad of two. And one thing we know for sure is that when his second child arrives, he’ll be there — for weeks — on parental leave.
In an essay on NYT Parenting, Ohanian talks about how his dad took one day off (a vacation day) when he was born in 1983. When his daughter Olympia was born? Ohanian took 16 weeks. PAID. Especially since near-fatal complications forced Serena to have an emergency C-section and extensive recovery, he was glad he could be there and has now become a staunch advocate for paid parenting leave and for dads to be hands-on from Day 1.
“Spending a big chunk of time with Olympia when she was a newborn gave me confidence that I could figure this whole parenting thing out,” Ohanian says. “As an only child with no cousins, I didn’t grow up around babies; in fact, I had never held one until my daughter was born. At first, holding her terrified me. I am a giant and she’s so tiny … What if I break her? I didn’t — which was encouraging — and then I learned how to calm her crying, rock her to sleep and handle her toddler years with grace.”
And he goes on to add, “Taking leave also set me off on the right foot for sharing parental responsibilities. Two years later, there is no stigma in our house about me changing diapers, feeding Olympia, doing her hair or anything else I might need to do in a pinch. They’re all just dad things (not “babysitter” things — I hate it when people refer to dads spending time with their kids as babysitting).”
16. Stephen Curry
NBA phenom Stephen Curry has many times over the years had kids on his lap for post-game interviews and, well, the clips are adorable. But despite the cuteness, this powerhouse celebrity dad-athlete takes fatherhood seriously and even used a well-known family acronym to inspire a children’s book.
The author of “I Have a Superpower” shares their family motto is summed up in one abbreviated phrase: WABA. These four letters stand for “words, actions, behavior, and attitude,” and, as he explains in an interview, “Those are four factors that they can control, no matter what’s going on in their life. Hopefully, that keeps them centered through all of the ups and downs.”
And those words can help them remember that they, too, have a superpower and the ability to achieve greatness like their dad.
17. Hugh Jackman
This 54-year-old has been a dad for a long time (his kids are 22 and 17), but he’s admitted in an interview with the Today Show that only recently has he allowed himself to admit when he’s struggling.
“I think I’m more open to being vulnerable with them saying things like ‘I’m not sure,’ or realizing that sometimes I may be preoccupied by something going on with me — like I’m preoccupied about the opening of ‘The Music Man,’ for example, and then realizing that they may think they’ve done something and just me not communicating because I’m thinking, ‘I don’t want to burden them with that,’ doesn’t help,” Jackman says. “So now I find myself saying, ‘Hey guys, sorry if I feel distant, I’m really nervous about this thing and if I’ve gone off my head, it’s nothing to do with you.’”
And the celebrity dad adds that even though you’re the father, “you don’t have to know what to do or what the best thing is, and it’s OK to say that.”
What a powerful and vital message for all dads to hear.
18. Lebron James
Known as King James, the one thing that has genuinely humbled the NBA championship MVP is fatherhood. The celebrity dad admits that when his oldest son Bronny was born, he was unsure of how even to be a dad, especially having grown up without one. But as the world has seen, even though his kids (like all kids) didn’t come with instructions, he was committed to doing his best for them from the beginning.
“I’ll be honest — I was scared, but I kept trying,” he says in a video ad for Beats. And sometimes, that’s all you can do as a parent. James also adds that, just like the rest of us, he learned how to be a dad by doing it. “As you grew, so did I,” the proud dad tells his son. “Patience, commitment, joy — things I learned from basketball, but really, I understood from you.”
19. Andy Cohen
Andy Cohen, the 54-year-old Bravo star, is a busy single dad to Benjamin, who is 4, and Lucy, who is a year old. And, just like the rest of us, he’s in the throes of navigating stubborn little people who refuse to make good choices; case in point when his son recently refused to wear shorts on an 80-degree day. Cohen says Benjamin won the battle, but he’ll be hot later. And likely miserable, which will be super fun for Dad. We see you, Andy.
But despite all the frustrations, this celebrity dad loves fatherhood to his core, and he struggles with working dad guilt. In a recent sit-down with one of his best friends Anderson Cooper, Cohen admits, “If I spend three hours with Ben, and then I have to go to work, you know, you’re at work, and you’re like: Did I spend enough time with Ben today? If Ben tells me that I’m his best friend, or he grabs for my hand to hold it, or he cuddles me extra tight, I mean, there’s not gonna be a bigger win in my day than that.”
20. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union set the gold standard in supporting their kids and living as a united family unit. Celebrity dad to four kids who range in age from 4 to 21, Wade is all over the map as a celebrity dad in the many stages of fatherhood. But one thing rings true for all his children: Dad has their back.
In a 2021 interview with People, Wade talks about how his parents’ addictions led him to grow up without structure, and that’s something he has changed in the way he parents his kids. And, he says, he wants to lead with love and be willing to learn from his kids as they learn from him.
“I want to be somebody who my kids always understand, that can adapt, and that is willing to grow and is willing to learn,” he tells People. “Also, someone that they can come to for advice about this, that or the third, and that will not be judgmental about it. I’m always going to lead with love. So that’s what I try to be for my kids.”
Fatherhood isn’t an easy gig — any dad can tell you that. But when a dad loves his kids unconditionally, supports them and stands by them through those awkward middle school years, and keeps putting one foot in front of the other as they test him time and again, that’s the stuff right there. These 20 celebrity dads do the work — every day. And even though we all know that it’s far from an easy job, they sure do look natural at this exhausting and beautiful thing called parenthood.