fictional characters The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History  

Ranker TV
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List Rules Recurring or guest star TV fathers of main characters, though they are not part of the primary cast

List of the greatest guest star dads in TV history, recurring or one-time appearances. These guest star TV dads range from cold and distant to loving to overbearing, but they’ve all done one important thing: made great TV shows even better. Guest star TV fathers might only show up once or they might be recurring characters -- either way, they’re TV dads who will be remembered as part of TV history. After all, who can forget Frank Costanza or Jack Geller?

 Perhaps the insight they give is one reason the best TV guest star dads are so memorable. Characters’ actions become easier to understand when viewers occasionally see their interactions with their fathers. Take Kurt Hummel, for instance. When he sometimes struggles with the ramifications of his sexual orientation, viewers understand why -- his father struggles with the same issues. Even one-time guest star dad appearances are enough to explain a character’s quirks or issues, especially when that character has struggled with the absence of his or her father throughout the TV series.

 Of course, not all guest star dad appearances are so serious. Guest star television fathers can be comic relief, pure and simple. They show up, drive their offspring crazy and make viewers laugh, then vanish for a while. Many of them act as caricatures of real-world fathers, doing typical dad things, like arguing over who’ll pay the check or spoiling the grandchildren without permission. Guest star TV dads also perform not-so-normal acts -- like Mac’s father on “It’s Always Sunny,” who wanted his son to smuggle drugs into prison.

 Whatever the reason viewers love TV guest star dads, this is a list of the very best. These are the ones who’ve made viewers laugh, or maybe cry, and although they don’t show up often, they’re welcome when they do.
list ordered by

1
55 18
Jack Geller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Jack Geller Friends - Father of Ross & Monica Geller

2
56 19
Frank Costanza is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Frank Costanza Seinfeld - Father of George Costanza

3
41 19
Max Keenan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Max Keenan Bones - Father of Temperance and Russ Brennan

4
42 21
Jerry Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Jerry Whitaker How I Met Your Mother - Father of Barney Stinson

5
40 24
Dr. Leonard Green is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Dr. Leonard Green Friends - Father of Rachel Green

6
36 21
Morty Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Morty Seinfeld Seinfeld - Father of Jerry Seinfeld

7
30 16
Dr. V. M. Koothrappali is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Dr. V. M. Koothrappali The Big Bang Theory - Father of Raj Koothrappali

8
26 18
Mickey Aldrin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Mickey Aldrin How I Met Your Mother - Father of Lily Aldrin

9
26 18
Marvin Eriksen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Marvin Eriksen How I Met Your Mother - Father of Marshall Eriksen

10
31 25
Russell Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Russell Huxtable The Cosby Show - Father of Cliff Huxtable

11
20 19
William Barnett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
William Barnett That '70s Show - Father of Steven Hyde

12
16 15
Howard Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Obrien News Service added Howard Cunningham Happy Days

13
22 23
Frank Dunphy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Frank Dunphy Modern Family - Father of Phil Dunphy

14
22 23
Eddie R. Lawson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Eddie R. Lawson Royal Pains - Father of Hank and Evan Lawson

The Saddest Television Deaths Ever

15
18 22
Burt Hummel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Burt Hummel Glee - Father of Kurt Hummel

16
21 28
Christopher Hayden is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Christopher Hayden Gilmore Girls - Father of Rory Gilmore

17
16 21
Bob Day is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Bob Day New Girl - Father of Jess Day

18
15 20
Jackson Hunt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Jackson Hunt Castle - Father of Richard Castle

19
14 22
Joe Heffernan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Joe Heffernan King of Queens - Father of Doug Heffernan

20
13 21
Milton Greene is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Milton Greene 30 Rock - Father of Jack Donaghy

21
14 23
Ephraim Wanker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Ephraim Wanker Married... with Children - Father of Peg Bundy

The Very Best Movie Franchises

22
14 23
Salvadore Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Salvadore Petrillo The Golden Girls - Father of Dorothy Zbornak

23
14 23
Mitch Leery is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Mitch Leery Dawson's Creek - Father of Dawson Leery

24
11 20
Ed Conner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Ed Conner Roseanne - Father of Dan Conner

25
13 24
George Truman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
George Truman Will & Grace - Father of Will Truman

26
13 24
Harry Moon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Harry Moon Frasier - Father of Daphne Moon

27
11 22
Henry Lewis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Henry Lewis ER - Father of Susan Lewis

28
12 24
Nikolai Jakov is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Nikolai Jakov Archer - Father of Sterling Archer (maybe)

The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History

29
15 29
Bruce Mathis is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Bruce Mathis It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Father of Dennis and Dee Reynolds

30
11 24
Al Harris is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Al Harris Roseanne - Father of Roseanne Conner

31
9 22
Sam Petrie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Sam Petrie The Dick Van Dyke Show - Father of Rob Petrie

32
9 22
Hank Summers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Hank Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Father of Buffy Summers

33
7 20
Dick Lemon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Dick Lemon 30 Rock - Father of Liz Lemon

34
8 22
Walt Miller is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Walt Miller New Girl - Father of Nick Miller

35
8 23
Walter Bernard, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Walter Bernard, Sr. The Office (U.S.) - Father of Andy Bernard

16 Movie "In Jokes" You Probably Didn't Notice

36
6 20
Mr. Pinkman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Mr. Pinkman Breaking Bad - Father of Jesse Pinkman

37
7 22
Len Trexler is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Len Trexler Archer - Father of Sterling Archer (maybe)

38
7 22
Tom Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Tom Bradshaw The Carrie Diaries - Father of Carrie Bradshaw

39
8 24
Herb Hartley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Herb Hartley The Bob Newhart Show - Father of Dr. Robert 'Bob' Hartley

40
8 24
Corbett Stackhouse is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Corbett Stackhouse True Blood - Father of Sookie Stackhouse

41
9 26
Johnny Boy Soprano is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Johnny Boy Soprano The Sopranos - Father of Tony Soprano

42
7 23
Nat David is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Nat David Curb Your Enthusiasm - Father of Larry David

43
7 26
Big Mike Heck Sr. is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Big Mike Heck Sr. The Middle - Father of Mike Heck

44
5 22
Gobi Nadir is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Gobi Nadir Community - Father of Abed Nadir

45
5 25
Larry Ludgate is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Larry Ludgate Parks and Recreation - Father of April Ludgate

46
5 25
Cornelius Hawthorne is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Cornelius Hawthorne Community - Father of Pierce Hawthorne

47
4 22
William Winger is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
William Winger Community - Father of Jeff Winger

48
3 24
Luther McDonald is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Luther McDonald It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Father of Mac

49
2 23
Andrew Covington is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Guest Star Dads in TV History
Andrew Covington Felicity - Father of Ben Covington