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.