Loyal viewers are familiar with those stalwart TV dads like Cliff Huxtable and Ward Cleaver. But in honor of Father's Day, we thought we'd salute some of the lesser-known, unsung TV patres familias who have been overshadowed by those with better syndication deals.
was based on the writings of newspaper columnist Tom Braden. Dick Van Patten was cast as the patriarch of the Bradford family. The series was supposed to be a typical mom-dad-kids nuclear family comedy/drama, but Diana Hyland, who was cast as wife Joan Bradford, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy after filming just four episodes. She never returned to the show, and her death was written into the show. Scripts were quickly re-written and Van Patten did an admirable job of playing a single dad raising eight children (none of whom looked like they could be remotely related to one another). The Powers That Be eventually decided that the Bradford family needed a mother figure, so Tom married Abby, who'd been written into the series as his son's tutor.
So who is your favorite TV dad? We left quite a few off our list, from Hank Hill to Doggie Daddy, because we were sort of on the fence about them and wanted our loyal readers to chime in with their votes.
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