The Celeb Dads That Make Our Hearts Melt On The Regular

While it (rightfully!) said that dads so often get praise for things moms get zero recognition for, we still have a big soft spot in our hearts for certain celebrity dads. After all, with the stereotype of the blundering dad still lumbering on in 2019, we need all the role models we can get. And these dads do way more than just change diapers and get applause for it. They show ways that fathers can nurture and support their children and help them grow into resilient, loving adults.

The dads on the list are all different: they came to fatherhood through different paths, and approach it differently as well. Some, like Neil Patrick Harris, choose to be very open about private lives, while others, like Ryan Gosling, keep it under wraps. Some dads seem goofy, others more sincere. But all sixteen dads on the list have melted our hearts over and over again when it comes to their devotion to their family. Get ready to have all the feels. Is someone cutting onions in here? 

Dax Shepard

Dax Shepard and wife Kristen Bell have made the choice to not show their daugther’s faces on social media ever, but they do share a lot about the joys and challenges of parenting. Not only does his adoration of Bell make us go weak in the knees, but he’ll stop at nothing for Licoln, 6, and Delta, 4. That includes fixing bikes and rescuing Legos mid-wedding. Devotion aside, he’s also been open about their parenting philsophy of being honest no matter what and sex positivity. Plus, he was a devoted Baby Bjorn wearer when his girls were small. 

Idris Elba

To us, he may be one of the sexist men alive. But to his kids, he he’s just dad — and sometimes dads can be embarrassing. Back in 2018, he said that despite being crowned People’s sexiest man alive, he could still embarrass his kids. He also added that he’s a “super doting as a dad…Big hugs, kisses, lots of ‘love yous’ and all of that.” He’s also been known to brag about his kids, like when Isan, 17 was a Golden Globes ambassador this year. He’s more than just good feelings, though. He told Cosmopolitan back in 2014, “Ultimately children don’t raise themselves. You’ve got to be there to help them and guide them through it. That’s one thing I try my very best to do.”

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson has proven that even the manliest man can be vulnerable and tender when it comes to his kids.  “I always wanted to be a great dad,” he said back in 2015. He continued that, after his first daughter, Simone, was born, he held her and promised, “I will always, always take care of you, for the rest of your life. You are safe.” This won’t surprise his Instagram followers, who regularly see him gush over his three girls. Just take a look at him having tea with Jasmine, or holding Tiana right after she was born. “Blessed and proud to bring another strong girl into this world,” he wrote. 

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds regularly makes us think the phrase “dad jokes” was invented for him. While he’s been known to troll wife Blakey Lively and call his kids names on Instagram, we know that, deep down, he’s a hopelessly devoted dad. While the couple are also selective about what they share about their kids, we learned just this month that he left set for eight days to be with Lively after the birth of their third child. They both also have made the decision to prioritize being together over work. By never working at the same time, the family is together when one parent is shooting. Plus, Reynolds has acknowledges being a dad made him a better person. 

Ryan Gosling

The Canadian Ryans are once again linked, but this time it’s more than just their good looks, first name, and passing resemblance. Even more tight-lipped about his personal life than Reynolds, Gosling is rarely even photographed with partner Eva Mendes and don’t walk the red carpet together. But we’ve never gotten the feeling that this comes from ambivalence — instead, it seems to come from a desire to fiercely protect their family and personal lives. That doesn’t mean it’s all under wraps, however. When Gosling won a Golden Globe for La La Land he praised Mendes for making it possible. Mendes has also talked about how her relationship with Reynolds made her want kids. “It made sense for me to have…not kids, but his kids. It was very specific to him,” she said earlier this year. If that’s not a swoon-worthy endorsement, we don’t know what is. 

Justin Baldoni

Many of us were introduced to Justin Baldoni for the first time as the father to (surprise!) Jane Villanueva’s son, then (surprise!) to ex Petra Solano’s twins. But, in real life, he’s as doting and devoted a dad as we saw on the small screen. On Father’s Day 2017, he posted on Facebook about his own dad and how he influences Baldoni’s own approach to fatherhood.

“My dad always let me feel what I needed to feel, even if it was in public and embarrassing. I don’t remember him ever saying ‘You’re embarrassing me!’ or ‘Dont cry!’ It wasn’t until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development” he wrote. “I try to remember to make sure my daughter knows it’s OK that she feels deeply.” Baldoni has also become an outspoken ally during the #MeToo era, which goes well beyond #DadGoals to straight #GoalsForMenEverywhereRegardlessOfParentalStatus. 

Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka

It’s hard to imagine two more fun dads than Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. The family regularly wins at Halloween and generally seem to go on some pretty cool adventures around the globe. Harris has also talked to SheKnows about how he keeps his kids laughing with impressions. Plus, Burtka being a chef means the kids have always had adventrous palates. But it’s not all fun and games: Harris also says the travel has a reason behind it, and it’s made his kids fearless and eager to learn. 

Hugh Jackman

Another celeb dad who doesn’t hold back when it comes to showing his love for his family, Hugh Jackman is a devoted dad to two teenagers and husband of 22 years to wife, Deborra-lee Furness. He’s descibed being a father as ““unbelievable, tiring, magical… the most challenging role I’ve ever had.” He has also been open about the couple’s choice to adopt despite what he has called the “anti-adoption culture” in their native Australia. The two had already talked about wanting to adopt as well as have children biologically but decided to skip straight to adoption after Furness struggled with infertility. 

“Our motivation behind adopting was, ‘Where is the need?’” he said in 2017. “And we just knew from talking with people in that space, when we were looking around, that the biggest need is in mixed-race kids. A lot of people go into [adoption thinking] it’s really important to them for the kid to look like them, and honestly, for Deb and I, that just never even was an issue.”

Karamo Brown

When Karamo Brown reentered the public eye in a big way via Queer Eye we also lear was also very open about what happened after he learned he had a ten-year-old son a few years ago. Brown stepped up, in a big way, by taking full custody of Jason, now twenty one. He would later take legal guardianship of Jason’s half-brother, Chris as well. He also is candid about how becoming a father played a role in his decision to get sober. 

“My son saved my life — and as much as people have always said I saved his, he saved my life because it gave me an opportunity to see that there was more to life than just me,” he told People. 

John Legend

While we imagine that life in the Teigen-Legend household is as fun and goofy as it looks on social media, that’s not the only reasy John Legend is one of our favorite celb dads. Aside from making our hearts melt with sweet one-on-one time with his kids, he’s also cracked us up when donning a bunny suit for Easter morning. He’s also said he tries to take on his fair share of the parenting duties, including diapers. He’s also won woke bae status on top of dad goals status, lamenting the ways wife Chrissy Teigen is mom-shamed for decisions they’ve made together. Plus, he’s said that being a father has really given him a sense of urgency around issues of justice. “Having kids puts in context for me the kinds of things kids need to be successful and healthy and happy. And realizing that far too many kids don’t have that,” Legend told the AP, “That’s what being a father has done for me.”

Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live is usually a source of light-hearted fun and juicy celebrity gossip, but in December 2018 he got real when he let the audience know he was preparing to welcome a son via surrogacy. 

“Family means everything to me, and having one of my own is something I’ve wanted in my heart for my entire life,” he said at the time. Since then, he’s shared tons of adorable pictures with his fans of life with baby Benjamin Allen, named after his grandfather. He has also been upfront about his gratitude towards his “incredible surrogate.” He’s enjoyed fatherhood so much he’s even confessed to considering baby number two in the future. 

Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent

Having two dads who are interior decorators means Poppy and Oskar are reliably fashionably dressed and hanging out in some pretty beautiful places. But beyond their enviable lifestyle and closet, these two kids definitely won big in the dad department. Brent told SheKnows that having kids “kind of shifts the lens that you look at the world [through]; it brings life back into life again, laughter and silliness and warmth and struggle. It’s just a new lens, and we’re having the best time looking through it.” 

They are also there to support their kids in whatever they choose to do. Back when Poppy was one, Berkus wrote “It’s not our job to mold babies into who we want them to be. Aside from helping her be happy, healthy and self-reliant, all I can do is let her become who she is.” 

Will Smith

The Pinkett-Smith household has never shied away from hard topics, and have often welcomed the rest of us in to the conversation. Will Smith has joined his wife and mother-in-law on Red Table Talk, their Facebook show, to get real about their marriage and ways the two of them have reevaluated and recommitted to their relationship over the years. That’s serious role model status for both their kids and us, TBH. 

He also admits he hasn’t always been the perfect father as well as huband. Back in 2011, he told W that daughter Willow shaved her head because she was sick of touring “Whip My Hair Back and Forth.” He said of that moment he realized “it was that soldier that was pushing and wasn’t paying any attention whatsoever to what was going on emotionally with this beautiful little creature in front of me… That was the first part of the collapsing of my father’s suit that I was wearing that wasn’t mine.”

Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin became a single dad via surrogacy eleven years ago, and welcomed a daughter with husband Jwan Yosef this year. While it’s clear that he was driven by a personal need to have a family, he’s also aware the importance of being a famous gay dad. He has told Out magazine that it is “part of [his] mission” to ensure people could look at lives and families like his and say: “There’s nothing wrong with that.” Martin’s activisim doesn’t end there. Aside from being an LGBTQ advocoate, he’s also used his platform to speak about and support family separation at the border and protests in Puerto Rico. 

Alexis Ohanian

OK, Alexis Ohanian might not be nearly as famous as the rest of the dads on this list, but being married to the greatest athelete of all time comes with automatic A-lister status if you ask us. Besides being a devoted and adoring husband to Serena Williams, Ohanian is clearly smitten with fatherhood. He even credited his decision to step away from Reddit last year with a desire to be a more present father to his daughter, also named Alexis.  

“I’m far from perfect, but I try to get behind her and let her know I’m there for her and our daughter, no matter what,” he has said about marriage and fatherhood. Also, remember his extra-in-all-the-right-ways billboard he put up of his daughter to welcome Williams back to tennis? 

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade and Gabriel Union are proud parents to a blended brood of kids, which includes his sons from a previous relationship, a nephew he adopted, and their daughter born via surrogacy. While he has never been shy about how seriously he takes his role as father, he’s been especially warming hearts recently with the way he handled his son Zion attending Pride. While he couldn’t be there in person, he didn’t hesitate to talk about why he supported Zion’s choices wholeheartedly. “I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job. And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do,” he said at the time. Their family also later launched a limited-edition t-shirt collectio with proceeds benefiting GSLEN on top of their own $50,000 donation. 

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