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13 Famous Nannies and Their Lessons For Us All

It’s expected that nannies teach children some of life’s lessons, what with all the time they spend together. But nannies can also teach parents a lesson or two usually without us even noticing. Such is the case with these famous nannies who wiggled their way into our hearts on the silver screen or through the TV.

I have to admit, compiling this list was a lot of fun. Who out there remembers any of these characters? Oh, the memories…

After the jump, check out these 13 Famous Nannies. Which one is your favorite? And if you could pick one to watch your kids for a week, who would it be?


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  • Mary Poppins 1 of 13
    Mary Poppins
    "A spoonful of sugar..." Aside from being a great musical, there were many a-lessons to learn from Mary Poppins, not least of which is that much can be cured with a sense of humor. Mary Poppins herself was firm, kind, and gentle and wonderfully magical.
    Photo: IMBd
  • Nanny McPhee 2 of 13
    Nanny McPhee
    Nanny McPhee had five very important rules to follow: 1) Go to bed when told. 2) Get up when told. 3) Get dressed when told. 4) Listen and say thank you. 5) Do as you are told. While it seems like an awful lot of "telling" going on, the seven children she looked after responded well and very much so thrived with direction.
    Photo: Firth.com
  • Tony from Who’s the Boss? 3 of 13
    Tony from Who's the Boss?
    Who's the Boss? portrayed one of the first stay-at-home dad themes even though the stay-at-home dad, Tony Micelli, was actually the housekeeper. This role reversal was fairly bold for its time and paved the way for others to view men as capable caregivers, and it did so with a great deal of humor.
    Photo: IMBd
  • Fran Fine from The Nanny 4 of 13
    Fran Fine from The Nanny
    Fran the Nanny was a real whippersnapper. Her off-beat nurturing and no-nonsense honesty weren't exactly stereotypical motherly traits. But she was adored nonetheless, and brought her Queens, NY logic to care giving.
    Photo: TV PopCrunch
  • Mrs. Doubtfire 5 of 13
    Mrs. Doubtfire
    The lengths we go to be with our kids! This father creates an alter ego to spend time with his children after his hoity toity wife leaves him because of his immaturity. The alter ego actually allows him to become the firm father figure we wasn't able to be before his wife left him and took the kids. Mrs. Doubtfire teaches us about second chances and never giving up on your family and she/he does so with a lot of laughs!
    Photo: Theatrical Release Poster via Wikipedia
  • Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music 6 of 13
    Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music
    Oh Maria, Maria. Wait, wrong famous Maria... Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music teaches these seven slightly repressed children how to use music as a form of expression. She's also a wonderfully resourceful up-cycler who makes play clothes out of drapes. We could all learn a thing or two from this fun-loving and adventurous governess.
    Photo: Vinyl Revinyl
  • Charles from Charles in Charge 7 of 13
    Charles from Charles in Charge
    If you've ever doubted hiring a 19-year old, male college student to watch your children, Charles gives you many reasons to just go for it. This live-in babysitter trades his time caring for the children for room and board. He balances the responsibilities of school and taking care of the kids with college life and girls all the while breaking down some of the stereotypes about teenage boys taking care of kids.
    Photo: IMBd
  • Alice from the Brady Bunch 8 of 13
    Alice from the Brady Bunch
    If it wasn't for her trademarked sky-blue uniform, you'd hardly even know that Alice was the housekeeper and not another one of the Bunch. Her zany personality makes her much loved by the six Brady kids, and she uses a great and silly sense of humor to get through the the days of taking care of so many children.
    Photo: Brady World
  • Annie Braddock from the Nanny Diaries 9 of 13
    Annie Braddock from the Nanny Diaries
    Annie Braddock highlights the importance of spending enough time with your own kids and not having other people raise them. This is clearly different than enrolling your child in day care, don't get me wrong. Annie also teaches us about the value of treating others well and with respect.
    Photo: Blockbuster
  • Mr. Belvedere 10 of 13
    Mr. Belvedere
    One of the greatest things we can learn from Mr. Belvedere is the value of daily journaling for the sake of reflection which he does at the end of each day. This fine man is much more than the family butler, as he often becomes a mentor for young Wesley, dealing with topics such as AIDS and inappropriate touching by a scout leader. Serious talks aren't just for moms to tackle.
    Photo: Title Card via Wikipedia
  • Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 11 of 13
    Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    This stereotypical Englishman handles the not-so-bad troubles of a wealthy family with cynical sarcasm. By doing so, he inadvertently teaches us that our own problems really aren't that bad, giving us a perspective on what really matters.
    Photo: Bravo TV
  • Nana from Peter Pan 12 of 13
    Nana from Peter Pan
    This dog-nurse of Wendy, John, and Michael is a great four-legged caregiver. Nana is not only efficient with her job, but she also is quite tolerant of the messes the kids create and who doesn't need a reminder of that from time to time?
    Photo: FanPop
  • Jane Eyre 13 of 13
    Jane Eyre
    A governess through necessity, Jane Eyre is responsible for educating the children and acting as their caregiver, often in a very mother-like way. While hers was one of the only occupations suitable for an unmarried, middle-class woman of her time, her plight reminds us of the blessing that is motherhood.
    Photo: The Compulsive Reader

Photo: Brady World

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