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12 Celebrity Dads Who Put Family Before Work

I recently read about the book In My Father’s Shadow written by Chris Welles Feder, the daughter of Orson Welles, where she unmasks her father and other celebrity dads from the golden age of Hollywood. In the memoir, she shares stories of being served dry martinis and ushered to bed so her parents could party, along with other shocking truths. It’s hard to imagine any parent in Hollywood being quite so “Orson Wellian” in regards to their own children, but Chris paints a portrait of such an unbalanced work/life/family world that it would take your breath away.

However, through age and time, Chris has gained perspective and even an appreciation for what was a very unique upbringing:

“I was constantly hoping I could bring about a more normal everyday relationship with him. He wasn’t the father that I wanted him to be, but he had such a positive influence on me. I chose to lead a creative life largely because of him. I’m very proud to be his daughter because I respect his values and principles, and what he stood for.”

While it’s great that Chris was finally able to come to terms with her off-kilter childhood, thankfully Hollywood dads have come a long way since their Orson Wellian counterparts. Today, we have so many celebrity fathers to look up to. These are men who are incredibly busy with multiple projects, and yet as soon as their family needs them, they’re there. In honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to highlight all of those incredible dads in Hollywood who have gladly put family before work.

12 Celebrity Dads Who Put Family Before Work

  • Celebrity Dads Have Evolved Since Orson 1 of 13
    Celebrity Dads Who Put Family First

    This is one of those classic images of old Hollywood: Orson Welles with his wife, Rita Hayworth, and their daughter Rebecca. Although Orson wasn't the greatest at juggling fatherhood with his career, we rounded up 12 modern celebrity dads who've learned from his mistakes and put their families before work! 

    Image Credit: The Times UK 

  • Brad Pitt 2 of 13

    One of Hollywood's hottest dads, Brad Pitt keeps his kids in mind when picking his roles and only chooses films that they would approve of. He tells Interview magazine: "I want it to be worthy enough of a story to leave the family, you know? They're everything. The family is first … I also don't want to embarrass them."

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Chris Christie 3 of 13

    Chris Christie wouldn't let a little — or a lot! — of snow ruin his family's plans. In December 2010, he continued his family's vacation plans even though a blizzard struck New Jersey, and he got a lot of flack for it.

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Hugh Jackman 4 of 13

    The Wolverine star reveals to Good Housekeeping that he's never apart from his family for more than 2 weeks, even if that means sacrificing roles. "I've had to turn down a few things [in my career], but I put my family first." 

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Chris O’Donnell 5 of 13

    Although he was on the brink of superstardom following his role as Robin in 1995's Batman Forever, he decided to step away from the spotlight to focus on starting a family. He tells Redbook: "I was being offered these huge films that would have taken my career to a different level, and I decided to put on the brakes. I knew if I continued on that track, I probably wouldn't have gotten married." 

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Keith Urban 6 of 13

    One of the many things Keith Urban loves about his wife Nicole Kidman is the fact that she will always put her family first, just like him. In Parade magazine, he reveals: "I know for me, family is first, and I just make sure that I spread my time among the things I love to do, as well. Balance is never achieved, it's just maintained. And so far, I've been able to maintain it."

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Will Smith 7 of 13

    Talk about a family man, Will Smith left the 2002 Oscar ceremony before his category was announced because his daughter, Willow, was sick with a high fever!  

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Kevin Bacon 8 of 13

    Kevin Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, take turns being the on-site parent while the other one is busy doing projects. Kyra opens up to Redbook about this parenting technique, stating: "Because we've often worked at different times, we've each had this wonderful special time with the kids when the other parent is away."

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Matt Damon 9 of 13

    The Borne Identity star and father of four girls prefers to work short hours during filming so he can be home with his family. "I try to have my cake and eat it. On the one hand, I'm most excited and alive when I'm working on something I love. But not to the detriment of my family."

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Nick Lachey 10 of 13

    Our favorite 98 Degrees singer plans to move from L.A. to Cincinnati so that he can raise his son closer to extended family. He tells People: "Vanessa and I share a common understanding that family is the most important thing, and we both appreciate the idea of raising our kids around their grandparents and cousins."

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Robert Rodriguez 11 of 13

    Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez turned down a $70 million project to direct the remake of Barbarella, a 1968 French-Italian science fiction film. The job would have required him to work in Germany, and the family man reveals: "Nothing against Germany, but I have five kids and I was like, ‘God, I don't know if we can do that. I don't know if I can be away that long.'"

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • Michael Buble 12 of 13

    The "Home" singer has significantly reduced his workload as he prepares for the birth of his first baby with his wife, Luisana Lopilato. He opens up to Entertainment Tonight Canadastating: "I just don't want to look back and say, 'God, I should have been there more,' because I have a feeling that I'll never look back and say, 'Jeez, I should have worked more.'"

    Image Credit: PR Photos

  • President Barack Obama 13 of 13

    After he won the election, President Obama continued to personally take his daughters to school — even on the morning of his first meeting with President Bush as the new President-elect. Now that's dedication. 

    Image Credit: PR Photos

More Posts by Dresden:
25 Celebrities You Didn’t Realize Were 50
Gift Ideas for Single Moms on Father’s Day
Our Favorite Celebrity Friends

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