For Father’s Day, We’re Celebrating These Legendary Father-Daughter Duos

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Just like last month with Mother’s Day, we now reach the special date to appreciate the father figures in our lives with Father’s Day. And while that usually includes some sports and BBQ, those of us more invested in the arts or pop culture can find some movies, shows and music to enjoy the day with as well. Whether it’s Robert Reed’s Mike Brady from ABC’s The Brady Bunch (1969-74) or James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos (1999-2007), dads in fiction have grown to have plenty of versatility over the past century.

Two TV dads my generation grew up with are Treat Williams’ Andrew Brown on the WB’s Everwood (2002-06) and Peter Gallagher’s Sandy Cohen on Fox’s The OC (2003-07) who still set the standard for parental characters to me, though both series’ families lack daughters. So let’s try to take a trip through Hollywood to see how many father-daughter pairs we can celebrate with.

One of the sweetest scenes between a dad and a child is featured in Frank Capra’s holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) with Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey and Karolyn Grimes as little Zuzu.

Old Hollywood brought a lot of good family moments to screen, such as Vincente Minnelli’s classic Father of the Bride (1950) and his sequel Father’s Little Dividend (1951), with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor as the title roles. Both were later remade to just as much success with Charles Shyer’s 1991 and 1995 comedies of the same name, starring Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams.

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Most recently, Anthony Hopkins surprised everyone by winning Best Actor at the Oscars for Florian Zeller’s tear-jerker The Father (2020), co-starring Olivia Colman as Hopkins’ daughter. Other semi-recent indie dramas that are great for fathers and daughters as protagonists are Alexander Payne’s The Descendants (2011) with George Clooney and Shailene Woodley; Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace (2018), starring Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie; and Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller in Maren Ade’s award-winning German feature Toni Erdmann (2016).

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Real life father and daughter pairs are plenty to come by in show business as well. Music and screen stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus have collaborated on occasion, most notably on Miley’s hit Disney sitcom Hannah Montana (2006-2011). Another popular musical family connection is model-actress Liv Tyler, first hitting the limelight in the music video for the 1993 single Crazy, and her dad Steven Tyler with his band Aerosmith. Ryan and Tatum O’Neal’s dysfunctional relationship might, unfortunately, shadow their careers sometimes, but the duo still charm over four decades later in Peter Bogdanovich’s period dramedy Paper Moon (1973).

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Henry and Jane Fonda acted together in the former’s final film, Mark Rydell’s On Golden Pond (1981), as on-screen kin. While Bridget — third generation Fonda — made her very first movie appearance at age 4 during a scene opposite her father, Peter Fonda, in Dennis Hopper’s hippie classic Easy Rider (1969).

Another Hollywood dynasty member, filmmaker Sofia Coppola, began her impressive career with bit roles in her equally successful director father Francis Ford Coppola’s pictures, Rumble Fish (1983) and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986). In return, Sofia has visited the father-daughter theme a couple of times in her own movies: Somewhere (2009) with Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, and On the Rocks (2020), starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. The latter actress, of course, is also the offspring of legendary record producer Quincy Jones.

If you’re looking for something to watch to keep the fatherly mood this weekend, there are quite a few options at hand.


What father-daughter duo is iconic? Let us know your choices in the comments!

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