It’s June, the month we honor fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and the many men who’ve helped raise us (and our kids) right! And because this is a space where we shine a light on single parenting, let’s bring to the mic the stars of screen, stage, soundbooth and stadium who are solo-parenting dads.
Here’s what some of the most-visible celebrity single fathers had to say about wrangling kids, the choice to parent and how being a dad has changed them. Sure, they all can fill the frame with a dazzling smile, sunglasses mysteriously covering dreamy eyes, super-fit bod or gravely voice, but it’s the waxing over their kiddos that will woo you most.
Dwyane Wade 1 of 10The Miami Heat player is father of two boys, Zaire and Zion, and author of the forthcoming boo kA Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball. Wade has written and spoken openly about his painful divorce and journey to being a full-custody father to his children. In 2007, the National Father's Day Committee awarded him a "Father of the Year" title. This year, he had this to say about raising boys: "When we have our opportunities and our moments, we do regular things, whether it's playing basketball in the front yard, going for a drive, going out to eat, or watching a movie late at night when they're supposed to be in bed. We're boys. We're men. We have our rascal moments and our playful moments."
Ricky Martin 2 of 10When the singer and current coach on The Voice Australia became a father to twin boys via surrogate in 2008, Ricky Martin didn't hold back the emotion of the experience,saying, "Everything they do, from smiling to crying, feels like a blessing. Being a father feels amazing. This has been the most spiritual moment in my life."
Lenny Kravitz 3 of 10The Grammy-winning recording artist and actor may have entertained rock legends at home, but according to his 24-year old daughter, Zoe, Lenny Kravitz was also stringent about rules and manners.
"So he's wearing leather pants and a boa, but he would be like, â€˜Did you do your chores today?' Or "That dress is too short!" she reported a few years ago about being raised by her dad. "I had chores, I had an allowance - â€˜Yes there's a party going on with Mick Jagger and some models but it's your bedtime.'"
Zoe, whose mom is Cosby kid Lisa Bonet, lived with her father from age 11 on and is now a model, singer and actress. Bonet and Kravitz divorced in 1993.
Kravitz once said of his relationship with his daughter: "That's the best thing I have in this world, that's it. The rest of the stuff is cute and it's great, but that's what I have that relationship with my daughter, which can never be broken. I'm there for her, she's there for me."
Colin Farrell 4 of 10The star of recently released Epic and father of two sons, a 10-year old whose mother is model Kim Bordenave and a four-year old with actress Alicja Bachleda, recently said parenthood has made it harder and harder to be on set and away from his boys.
What my first son James did was allow me to care for something in this world when I couldn't care for myself. James saved my life," Farrell said of his eldest son, who has a rare genetic condition called Angelman Syndrome.
Johnny Depp 5 of 10The Golden Globe, SAG, and People mag's "Sexiest Man Alive" award winner, actor, musician, editor, restauranteur and winemaker Johnny Depp says it is being a father that has given him a "real foundation, a real strong place to stand in life, in work, in everything." Depp has two children with former long-time partner, French singer and actress, Vanessa Paradis: Lily-Rose Melody Depp, who was born in 1999, and son John "Jack" Christopher Depp III, who was born 2002. Depp and Paradis split last year, and around the same time, he described how parenting had changed him, saying, "I was angry and frustrated until I started my own family and my first child was born. Until then I didn't really appreciate life the way I should have, but fortunately I woke up."
Ryan Phillippe 6 of 10When Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon divorced in 2008, it seemed tragic that Hollywood's young sweethearts split. But a recent photo of Phillippe, Witherspoon and her now-husband, Jim Toth, cheering on nine-year-old son Deacon at his soccer game shows how much can change in just five years. Phillippe and Witherspoon also are parents of 13-year old Ava, and Phillippe has a toddler daughter, Kailani, from a relationship with model and actress Alexis Knapp. Of his direct involvement in raising his children rather than hiring caregivers, Phillippe said bluntly two years ago, "I imagine it would have been more difficult if we weren't as hands-on as we were or allowed them to be raised by nannies - I think then they would become a**holes."
Jamie Foxx 7 of 10With his daughter on his arm at many award shows, including this year's Oscars, Jamie Foxx admitted to Oprah that he's careful about letting any other man be her date.
When she picked her boyfriend, I think she picked a cool dude. I was looking… I've been waiting to do daddy things, [like] â€˜I'm gonna kill this boy'," he said.
Cristiano Ronaldo 8 of 10The Portuguese soccer player for Real Madrid was named the ninth highest-paid athlete in the world by Forbes last year. Two years before that, the single footballer became a father by surrogate. He announced on Facebook, "It is with great joy and emotion that I inform I have recently become a father to a baby boy." The now-toddler was born while Ronaldo was playing in the World Cup in South Africa.
Peter Facinelli 9 of 10Recently divorced Facinelli, who split from actress Jennie Garth last year, reports that single parenting has made him a better father to their three daughters. "Co-parenting has been great. I'm able to have the kids every other week and in some ways -- a lot of ways -- it makes me an even better father. I get to get up and make them breakfast, make them lunches, take them to school and I have the full responsibility of all three girls for the whole entire week, and I bond a lot with them that way," he told Huffington Post in April.
Tom Cruise 10 of 10Despite stringent Scientology rules that restrict members from having contact with people who have left the church, Tom Cruise continues to be involved in daughter Suri's life after ex-wife Katie Holmes quickly divorced him, retained full custody and rejoined the Catholic faith with Suri. The controversial actor and upper-echelon Scientologist is also father to two children with former wife Nicole Kidman.
Did we leave any contenders for Celeb Single Dad of the Year off of our list? Tell us who you nominate!
Read more of Jessica’s adventures as a single mom in the city at Sassafrass.