GETTY

The Top 15 Celebrity Dads of 2017, Ranked

From David Beckham to Jimmy Kimmel, celebs are speaking out about fatherhood in surprising ways.

GETTY
Recommended Video
Loading Video Content
ADVERTISEMENT

For an increasing number of actors, athletes, musicians, and entrepreneurs, being a celebrity dad — one willing to trot that experience out under the spotlight, anyway — has become, its own sort of PR long game. That’s not to say that celebrity dads are all being performative in a cynical way, which is certainly not the case, but it is to say that public dadage now garners press coverage in a real way and it does seem as though many fans are, loyalty to stars aside, more than ready to participate in a little celebrity schadenfreude or dadshaming. Witness the scandal of David Beckham kissing his kids on the mouth. Is that something every father does? Nope. Is it worthy of a debate among people who aren’t David Beckham or Posh Spice? Not really. But the arc of the universe seems to bend (at this moment anyway) towards controversy and disagreement so, insomuch as it is peak time for celebrity dads, it is also a tough time for celebrity dads.

Still, many men have handled the pressures of celebrity fatherhood with grace and composure. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who, let’s not forget, once hosted a show featuring bikini girls on trampolines, used his platform to speak out for children’s healthcare after his son had a medical emergency. Ryan Reynolds, meanwhile, kept the mood light by cracking jokes at both his own and his wife’s expense. DJ Khaled, for his part, singlehandedly propped up the toddler luxury industry.

As a tribute to these noble dads and their attempt to be good fathers — damn hard even without a million people second-guessing you — without stepping out of the public eye, Fatherly presents the a ranking of the best celebrity father performances of 2017. Please note: Everyone here is a winner.

15. DJ Khaled

DJ Khaled’s son, Asahd, just turned one this year, and Khaled threw him an insane birthday bash, complete with wild greenery and actual tigers. Tossing money at your kid is one way to show affection and Khaled is down with it. That said, he clearly has more personal ways of proving he cares, like putting his kid, who is outlandishly adorable, on album covers.

Celebrity Rating: ★
Dad Rating: ★★★

14. Justin Timberlake

Timberlake schooled us all on the right way to shed those Thanksgiving pounds, using his 2-year-old son, Silas, as an extra weight while his wife, Jessica Biel, filmed their family fitness routine. Celebrities, they’re just like us, but way more physically attractive!

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★

13. George Clooney

George Clooney has served with distinction as America’s shameless crush for about two decades now and having kids hasn’t jeopardized his position one bit. Despite his infant twins, Clooney doesn’t even look like he has bags under his eyes. And he’s got good takes. He called out baby Halloween costumes for being silly and unnecessarily cruel. Then he essentially called out his kids for being annoying and handed out, with his wife, noise-cancelling headphones for every passenger on a flight with their kids. That’s next-level stuff right there.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

12. David Beckham

Beckham, his wife, Victoria, and their four kids are easy winners of the “Best Looking Family” award, but being attractive doesn’t just automatically make Beckham a good dad. Building a massive, 4,000-piece LEGO Disney Castle for his kids makes him a good dad. And say what you will about the kissing thing, there are a lot of worse things than public displays of love for one’s child.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

11. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

We don’t really know that much about The Rock as a father, but he’s The Rock so he’s probably great. He’s great at everything. He’s great in everything. He’s a damn treasure.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★

10. Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt went from Parks and Rec schlub to Hollywood superstar at speed just after his son, Jack, was born. In the middle of starring in the Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises, Chris found time to take Jack fishing for barracuda. Look how happy that kid is.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

9. Jim Gaffigan

Gaffigan’s never shied away from being a schlubby, lovable dad – he literally wrote a whole book titled “Dad is Fat.” As his kids grow up, he continues to share hilarious gems about parenting, like this great reaction to his daughter’s drawing.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

8. Jay-Z

Blue Ivy is basically America’s royal baby, and it looks like Jay-Z and Beyonce are still killing it at being parents, despite any leftover tension between the two. They seem to take Blue Ivy everywhere, and Jay-Z just announced the release of his upcoming video for his song “Family Feud,” which features appearances by her and her mom. That kid’s going to turn out all right.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

7. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum’s a dad who’s not afraid to get a little goofy from time to time. While throwing a Halloween party for his four-year-old daughter, Everly, Tatum dressed up as a purple unicorn, complete with a rainbow-striped horn. Now that’s commitment.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

6. LaVar Ball

LaVar Ball doesn’t exactly set the bar high for being a good sports dad, but he certainly sets it way up there for being an extremely vocal, public sports dad. Likely due to his own design, the Ball family and the Big Baller Brand have seemingly been everywhere lately. Is LaVar trying to capitalize on his kids’ success? Absolutely. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Depends on what his long-term plan is and it’s very, very hard to know. What we do know is that Ball will make damn sure that everyone is watching (and that he’ll be hyping his kids the whole time).

Celebrity Rating: ★★★
Dad Rating: ★★

5. Ryan Reynolds

Reynolds has been using his Twitter to share hilarious stories about raising his and Blake Lively’s two kids. “Damn it’s hard letting your infant daughter go somewhere alone for the first time. I was a total mess dropping her off at Burning Man,” he tweeted last year. While most of what he tweets is complete bullshit (as confirmed by Lively), he’s committed to his bits, and hopefully in 2018 he’ll keep making us laugh.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★

4. Patton Oswalt

This year, Oswalt remarried after the heartbreaking death of his wife in 2016. For Halloween, they let Oswalt’s daughter, Alice, take centerstage for a group costume. Alice dressed up as the Riddler, while Oswalt and his wife dressed up as hench-people.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★★★

3. LeBron James

James’ kids always cheer him on when they see him play, and the legendary basketball star returned the favor when he watched his 12-year-old son Bronnie play in Las Vegas. When his three-year-old daughter Zhuri asked for candy in the middle of an NBA game, James took the time to find it for her. Almost everything James does on and off the court just makes him look like a lovable dad, including the fact that he’s opening up a school for underprivileged kids in Ohio.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★★

2. Barack Obama

Obama was a terrific father even while he was busy leading the country for two terms, and now that he’s out of the White House he has even more time to spend with his family. Between letting his daughters have a sleepover with their friends on one of their final nights in the White House and dropping Malia off at Harvard for her first year of college, Obama shows how one of the hardest jobs in the world doesn’t have to slow you down as a father.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★★

1. Jimmy Kimmel

In 2017, Jimmy Kimmel became the first late-night host to be speak emotionally about his experiences as a father and to make that part of his on-screen identity. After his son Billy had to undergo heart surgery when he was born with a congenital defect, Kimmel used his platform to share his personal story, and became a vocal critic of policies that could endanger others’ access to affordable healthcare. Many (incorrect) people thought that Kimmel’s status as a wealthy celebrity meant he shouldn’t speak out about issues he cared about, but he understood that his privilege was exactly why he should remain vocal.

Celebrity Rating: ★★★★
Dad Rating: ★★★★

Get Fatherly In Your Inbox


Survey Callout Image