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Last week I published this blog post about ways you can tell I’m a stay at home dad (SAHD). While researching the piece (I use the term researching loosely), I discovered that Brad Pitt takes the reigns at home when Angelina Jolie is off filming and vice versa.

My mind began to wonder; are there any other exceedingly famous men who are their kids’ main carer?

With this in mind, I hit the Internet. What I uncovered was quite surprising. Truth is, there are loads of celebrity dads out there doing the bulk of the childcare and it was quite tricky to produce a list without missing someone of real importance. Even so, I’ve selected a list of five dads from the world of entertainment who, like me, are/were responsible for the majority of the childcare.

Before I launch into this list, I just wanted to give you advance notice of another blog post I am working on. I recently published this post; It’s official, stay at home dads do not exist about the number of SAHDs in the UK. After a bit more digging around, I’m doing some number crunching and hope to come up with my own figure for the number of men in Britain who are their kids’ main carer. Expect a follow up in the next few weeks.

Enough of my number crunching! Here are five guys who put careers on hold for their families.

Cary Grant

Cary Grant, stay at home dad, SAHD, celebrity, actor, father, daddy, dad
Cary Grant; not just an incredibly successful actor. Pic credit below.

I had to put the late North by Northwest actor Grant at the top of this list. I felt it was the correct thing to do because he was of a generation where stay at home dads were exceedingly rare. Although Grant continued to do some work, he gave up the big screen in 1966 when his daughter, Jennifer, was born to fourth wife Dyan Cannon.

At the time, Grant was 62 years of age. He put his desire to spend time at home with his daughter down to the fact he wanted to keep a proper record of her life (apparently the records he kept were “meticulous”). An added influence was the fact his family’s records and childhood artefacts were destroyed when the Luftwaffe bombed his home city of Bristol in 1942.

David Beckham

David Beckham, SAHD, stay at home dad, dad, daddy, father
The one and only David Beckham. He often asks me for advice before modelling underwear. No, really, he does. Pic credit below.

I’ll be honest, I just don’t do football. I never have done. I couldn’t care less for it. I was also highly cynical about claims Beckham had taken on the main caring role for his kids when he retired from the game.

A short while ago, however, I was at an event and got talking to someone who knows the Beckham family. I was informed that David genuinely does the school run and apparently takes incredible care putting the kids’ lunchboxes together.

I’m sorry David. I should have been more trusting and simply accepted the fact you are indeed in a position to spend your time running the household and raising the kids. I just wish I could look as good as you in those legs-apart underwear shots you occasionally appear in.

Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis, stay at home dad, father, SAHD
The comedy genius Rick Moranis gave up his career after his wife passed away. Pic credit below.

Comedic actor Rick Moranis may not mean much to anyone under the age of 40, but there’s a special reason I’ve placed him on this list; he became a stay at home dad out of necessity. Canadian-born Moranis is probably most famous for his role as Louis Tully in the 1984 film Ghostbusters. He also went on to star in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids movies.

In 1991, however, tragedy struck and Moranis lost his wife, Ann, to breast cancer. Although he carried on working for a few years, he eventually felt the need to be at home with the children.

Here’s a quote Moranis gave to USA Today in 2005:

“I’m a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the travelling involved in making movies. So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.”

Little update for you. As Moranis’ kids are now grown up, he has come out of retirement in the past couple of years.

John Lennon

John Lennon, Yoko Ono, stay at home dad, househusband, father, dad, daddy
John Lennon with Yoko Ono. I’ve never had much time for Lennon, but it does seem he became something of a reformed character in the later years of his life when he gave up music to become Sean’s main carer. Pic credit below.

Lennon is someone I’ve never had much time for. I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but, shock horror, I think his song writing was overrated. The stories about his troubled marriage to first wife Cynthia also did little to persuade me he was a particularly nice chap.

It seems, however, that Lennon became something of a reformed character after Yoko Ono fell pregnant with their son Sean. Lennon acknowledged he’d played little part in the life of Julian, the son he had with Cynthia. This was essentially because of the pressures of life in the Beatles during their heyday.

From 1975 to 1980, Lennon had what he termed his “househusband years”. He gave up music so he could be at home.

Here’s a quote from Yoko Ono’s book, Real Love: Drawings for Sean. Commenting on her pregnancy with Sean, Ono said;

“John was ecstatic. ‘I’m going to raise this baby, Yoko. You do the business,’ he said. It was that simple.”

Sadly, we all know what bought this part of his life to an early end.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck. Jeniffer Garner, dad, father, stay at home dad
Argo star Ben Affleck holds the babies when Jeniffer Garner is away filming. Pic credit below.

Rather like Brad Pitt, Affleck takes the reigns at home when his soon to be ex-wife Jennifer Garner is away filming. Although they are planning to divorce, the pair will apparently continue to share a number of homes. Affleck, who is to star in the upcoming Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice movie, will look after their three kids when Garner’s career takes her elsewhere.

Hopefully that’s shed some light on some celebrity stay at home dads from generations past and present. What do you think, do you think the world of entertainment is leading by example, or is that a bit too simple? Does the money make it easier for these guys to stay a home? Also, do you know of any other famous stay at home dads? If so, please list them below. Comments relating to Lennon’s songwriting will be published but please don’t expect me to agree with them.

Pic credits:

Cary Grant image; Copyright free image / David Beckham image; Adifansnet, sourced from Flikr.com / Rick Moranis image; Lauren Brown, sourced from Flikr.com / John Lennon and Yoko Ono image; Gisela Giardino, sourced from Flikr.com.

Unless otherwise stated, all images reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.

40 thoughts on “Five famous stay at home dads”

  1. Really interesting post John money without a doubt plays an important part in celebrity’s being able to be sahd.I personally don’t feel similar in anyway I actually read Rick moranis story a week or so ago a sad story and I do admire him giving up his career at the time he did he could of so easily employed nannies and continued to earn loads,but didn’t and put his children first.
    The rest had already had highly successful careers so it’s actually a very easy decision for them,money enables them to do this.
    Great post and really good read.

    1. Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. Even in Cary Grant’s case, I mean what did he have to lose? Nothing really so this must make it easier.

    1. I kinda about John Lennon already but Cary Grant came as a total surprise. I guess he was older, established, had achieved loads so had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  2. Interesting about the older ones on the list (Cary Grant and to an extent Rick Moranis – although the latter, was a slightly different come about than the others where partners are still alive). I think with many rich/famous, with partners who have similar roles, it probably does make life easier. They arrange schedules when they’re away with their partners, can both be at home at the same time, and alternative who’s away shooting for long periods.

    It’s definitely great that there’s more SAHD celebrity dads visible- should help it be recognised as more the norm.

  3. I have to admit to being a massive cynic about celebrity parents – be they mothers or fathers. At the end of the day no matter what image they want the world to perceive, they have access to money and therefore, to paid help if family help isn’t available. They never have to experience parenthood ‘in the trenches’ and that sets them apart. Having said that I expect there are definitely those who actually want to be more hands on. And by the way thanks for at least two of those pictures 🙂 #thetruthabout

    1. Oh I share your cynicism. I have no doubt many of the ‘sleb stay at home dads receive considerable assistance from nannies etc. Even so, it’s a positive trend I think.

  4. This is a really interesting list. I knew about one or two of these, Rick Moranis and David Beckham, and I knew that Brad and Angelina shared the childcare for their brood. SAHDs definitely don’t get enough publicity. #thetruthabout

    1. Sometimes I wonder if they keep it quiet because it would seem uncool and damage their public persona? Who knows? All I can say is I unearthed loads of ‘sleb SAHDs.

    1. When you look into it, there are loads of parents either co-parenting or with dad taking on the main childcare role from the world of celebrity. It’s an interesting trend.

  5. What an interesting post! I had no idea about Cary Grant and like you, didn’t really buy the Beckham line, not because he’s a Dad but because he’s a celebrity and I generally assume celebrity child-raising is by-and-large accomplished by nannies (also probably not strictly true). Moranis and Lennon were also surprising and very sad. Thanks for linking up on #wineandboobs !

    1. Yup, I was really surprised about Cary Grant. Amongst the younger generation there are loads of dads from the celebrity world taking on the main caring role. I suspect they have more assistance from nannies than the rest of us, but it’s still a trend to be encouraged nonetheless.

  6. This was an interesting read, have to admit, like others, I’m a bit cynical about how hands-on celebrity parents are. But, anything that normalises SAHDs is a good thing. I was really surprised about Cary Grant, and how sad about Rick Moranis. #wineandboobs

  7. I would be interested to know how many of these stay at home dads also had/have stay at home nannies. I am sure money does play a massive part too! #MMWBH

  8. That’s a great post and really had me going “wow” didn’t know that and very pleasantly surprised. My gran once met Cary Grant. Her brother-in-law was the Compere at the Dunes Hotel in Vegas (long since been replaced by some other concrete and glass building), and Cary Grant just popped in as they were friendly. He spent a few hours with them all and she had her photo taken with him and never stopped saying how lovely he was. I like him even more now having read this 🙂 #MMWBH

  9. There are some big surprises here – pleasant ones though. I’m thrilled to finally meet someone else who doesn’t particularly rate John Lennon’s music – yes, I said it out loud too! In fact, there isn’t a single Beatles song I like either. I’ve gone off topic, haven’t I? And people are staring unhappily at me. I’m just going to back out of the room now! Mim x #brilliantblogposts

  10. Great post and really interesting. I’m not a SAHD but I really like reading about some of the other dads out there who’ve managed to make it work. #wineandboobs

  11. Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    I am of mixed opinions, money plays a part for all of us in deciding how our kids are raised. For many years I worked nights and the husband days so we could be with our kids. It was hard. For the first 12 years I didn’t see much of my husband. We do what we do. Money makes it possible for these men to stay home, but since they are famous I’m sure there are many more things they could be doing, but they choose to be with their kids. That’s what I like.

  12. I think it’s great they were put their career on hold for their kids but they were able to because they had already earned more than enough money, even so I still think they should be applauded for making the decision when they could have easily afforded nannies instead #BrilliantBlogPosts

  13. Great post! And I feel so sad for Rick Moranis absolutely love his films!
    I’m not entirely sure that there isn’t the odd nanny or two involved mind.
    I once taught a child who was the son of a multi millionaire SAHD and he had a whole troop of nannies who lived on site. There were ten of them in total and they had their own house on campus!….They weren’t allowed access to the pool mind ?

  14. This is a really interesting post to read. It’s great seeing Dads giving up their work/career for their kids. My Dad did this for me when he had full custody of me and my brother unexpectedly when we were young x

    1. Thanks for commenting Beth. Sounds like there’s a story behind your circumstances. Regardless, I think the ‘sleb list I’ve provided shows guys are quite capable of raising kids and when needs be, single handedly.

  15. What a fascinating post, I had no idea that any of these men had taken on the role of main carer. I would have been rather cynical like you, especially about David Beckham. That will make the ladies even more in awe 😉

  16. I remember the day after David Beckham ‘retired’ from playing in 2013, a friend in London shared a photo she had snapped that morning at her local playgroup – it was of Beckham playing dolls with his (then) 2 yr old daughter.

    1. Well there you go, further proof my cynicism was misplaced. Guys like Beckham have the potential to be such superb role models. I just don’t think they realise it.

  17. Pingback: High-5 for Friday Favourites – August 27 | The Hollyhock Door

  18. This is so interesting John. Would have never thought to even look this up. I like the fact that so many celebs have stayed at home with their children. Love Cary Grant and I have heard of Rick Moranis (I’m 30!) hehe. Sad about his wife though xx #bigfatlinky

  19. This is so interesting – I love David Beckham, not because he is incredibly good looking but because he is obviously an incredibley devoted dad! I’d also read about Ric Moranis – what another amazing dad. Great post! #bigfatlinky

  20. Really interesting post. I used to love Rick Moranis movies and he did suddenly just disappear didn’t he? That’s really sad about his wife.

    1. Oh dear. Aside from objectifying men…he used to play for Manchester United. I know enough about football to appreciate this is evil.

  21. Cary Grant – officially the coolest dude ever! I think some of the people you’ve highlighted are a reflection of lifestyles I’m seeing increasingly with friends. More flexible working, more working for ourselves, less family around.

    1. Yes, I think it is a general trend. A slow one, but one that is taking place nonetheless. Glad to see ‘slebs leading by example.

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