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Celebrating the best of the big-screen dads

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Your favorite film father

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A look at 10 fine portrayals of fatherhood

Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 12:01 am

Sometimes they are the butt of jokes. Other times they are the intentional — or unintentional — instigator of mayhem. But, mostly, movie dads do their best hold their family together and to provide for them.

Sunday is Father's Day, and that had us thinking about the best movie dads. Here, in no particular order, are 10 fabulous film fathers we found listed on a sampling of websites:

•Atticus Finch, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” 1962

Gregory Peck portrays a white lawyer raising two children by himself who stands up to townsfolk and for racial equality and human dignity as he represents a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

•Bryan Mills, “Taken,” 2008

Liam Neeson plays a retired CIA agent who, after his daughter is kidnapped in Paris, goes after the kidnappers to rescue her.

•Chris Gardner, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” 2006

Based on a true story, Will Smith plays a father who still tries to provide the best for his son after he becomes jobless, his wife leaves them and they have to live out on the streets.

•Mufasa, “The Lion King,” 1994

This animated film features James Earl Jones as the voice of the powerful lion king who sacrifices his life to save his son, and then from the heavens helps his son find the courage to take his place as ruler.

•Mr. Banks, “Father of the Bride,” 1950 with Spencer Tracy, 1991 with Steve Martin

A devoted father tries to cope with the realization his little girl is now a woman, as well as deal with all of the organizational headaches of her wedding.

•Clark Griswald, “National Lampoon's Vacation” series, 1983-1997

Everything always seems to go wrong, but all the character played by Chevy Chase wants is to give his family a good vacation — first at Walley World, and then in Europe, at Christmas and in Las Vegas.

•Ted Kramer, “Kramer vs. Kramer,” 1979

Dustin Hoffman plays a father whose wife leaves him and their young son suddenly and then returns a year later to try to take custody of the boy.

•Tevye, “Fiddler on the Roof,” 1971

The actor Topol plays Tevye, a poor milkman in pre-Communist Russia, who breaks with the tradition of arranged matchmaking to allow his daughters to marry men they really love.

•Marlin, “Finding Nemo,” 2003

In this animated film, Albert Brooks voices the anxiety-ridden Marlin the clownfish, who makes heroic efforts to find his son, Nemo, after the youngster is captured by scuba divers.

•Gil Buckman, “Parenthood,” 1989

Steve Martin plays a devoted father who who juggles trying to be a good dad with his wife's unexpected pregnancy, job demands and oddball relatives.

Sources: IMDB,,,