Whether you’re a mom or a dad, being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. However, it can also be the most rewarding and fulfilling job in the world too.
Every parent has their own style of parenting, but any good mom or dad will tell you that a child needs food, shelter, love, discipline and guidance among countless other things as all basic foundations in their childhood. It’s a big responsibility to raise a child as best you can, but one that so many people take on with open arms.
The job of parenting is hard enough when there’s both a mom and a dad, but imagine the difficulties that a parent faces on their own. In a single parent family, as opposed to a nuclear family with a mom and a dad at the head, the responsibility of the household, taking care of the children, holding a job and paying the bills all fall on a single set of shoulders.
Single parent families are much more common than they were fifty years ago, which has meant that more and more celebrities are the proud single parents of their children.
So to celebrate Father’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the celebrity dads who have stepped up to the plate to become fantastic single parents.
After divorcing his wife, Tameka Foster, Usher fought a three year battle for sole custody of their two children, Usher V (2007) and Naviyd (2008). Usher won sole custody of his sons, claiming that Foster was unstable and unable to bond with the boys. However, the fight wasn’t over.
In August of 2013, Usher V nearly drowned. Usher V, who was 5-years-old at the time of the incident, got his arm caught in the drain of a swimming pool in his dad’s home in Atlanta. He was submerged under water for three minutes before two contractors that were working on Usher’s house rescued him. The boy was brought to a hospital, and suffered no injuries. The incident did reignite the custody battle and Foster called for an emergency hearing in an attempt to gain custody of the children, which she lost.
9. Al Pacino
The Godfather star Al Pacino may play a tough guy on-screen, but off-screen he’s a single dad with three beautiful kids. While Pacino has never married, he has a daughter, Julie Marie, from his relationship with his acting coach Jan Tarrant and twins, Anton James and Olivia Rose, from actress Beverly D’angelo.
Julie Marie Pacino seems to be taking a leaf from her parents’ books and pursuing a career in the film industry. Pacino and D’angelo have an amazing 50/50 co-parenting relationship together, with each parent sharing equal time and responsibilities with their kids.
8. Bob Geldof
Recently, the Geldof name has made headlines with the tragic news of Peaches Geldof’s untimely death at the age of 25. While Bob Geldof is well-known for his political activism, his Boomtown Rat days and his charitable events, he is also very well-respected for his role as dad to three beautiful daughters: Fifi Trixibelle (1983), Peaches Honeyblossom (1989) and Little Pixie (1990).
Geldof had a rocky relationship with his three daughters’ mother, Paula Yates, and the two divorced in 1996. Yates then moved in with INXS singer, Hutchence whose suicide in 1997 and Yates’ subsequent suicide attempt a year later, pushed Geldof to apply for full custody of the three girls. Three years later, in 2000, Yates died from a drug and alcohol overdose.
Geldof then adopted Yates’ and Hutchence’s daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (or “Tiger”), believing that she would be better off with her three half-sisters. Geldof is now an outspoken advocate of the fathers’ rights movement.
7. Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell was named Perfectmatch.com’s “Hottest Single Celebrity Dad” in 2009. The website claims that it’s the combination of the Irish actor’s rough and tumble personality and his caring role as father to James Padraig and Henry Tadeusz.
In 2008 Farrell, inspired by his role in the Special Olympics in Shanghai, announced that James Farrell had been diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder characterised by intellectual and developmental delay, sleep disturbance, and lack of speech. Farrell has been a huge supporter and speaker for the Foundation For Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST).
6. Prince Charles
The Royal family isn’t immune to tragedy, as they discovered when Princess Diana died tragically in a car accident in Paris in 1997. With all the media coverage and mourning, a lot of people forgot that Diana’s death left Prince Charles with two teenage boys to raise on his own: William and Harry.
Diana’s death came a year after the two had divorced because of Charles’ extramarital affair with his now-second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles. Under the scrutiny of the public eye, Charles moved his sons out of Buckingham Palace in London and into Windsor Castle in Highgrove, a brave move considering most royals are been raised and educated in London. It was a bold move that allowed the boys to grow up as relatively normal kids, outside of the media’s eye.
5. Ricky Martin
The “Livin’ La Vida Loca” star rocketed onto the pop music scene in the 90’s, but did you know he’s a single dad of twins? While Martin had been in an on-and-off again relationship with Rebecca de Alba, his sexuality came under scrutiny after his success was largely attributed to his large gay fanbase and in 2010 came out of the closet as a homosexual.
In August 2008, Martin had a set of twins born by a surrogate mother, called Matteo and Valentino. Martin recently broke up with his partner, Carlos Gonzalez Abella, but the family of three remains as strong as ever.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
With the World Cup looming over us, it feels like a shame not to mention one of the most renowned soccer players, Cristiano Ronaldo.
In 2011 the former Manchester United football player announced that he was to be a single dad. The identity of the mother remains unknown, but several rumours have circulated stating that the mother had been paid a large amount of money to remain silent on the matter and give Ronaldo sole custody. The child, Cristiano Junior, is taken care of by Ronaldo’s mother, Dolores Aveiro.
3. Johnny Depp
It’s hard to imagine the zany Jack Sparrow as a father, but Johnny Depp’s role as a dad is no joke. Since Depp’s 2012 split from his girlfriend of 14 years, Vanessa Paradis, the actor became a single dad of his two kids, Lily-Rose Melody (1999) and John “Jack” Christopher (2002).
In 2007, Depp had a scare when Lily-Rose suffered a serious E-coli infection that began to cause her kidney’s to shut down. Fortunately, the Great Ormond Street Hospital was able to save her life. Depp thanked them by dressing up as Jack Sparrow and spending four hours reading stories to the children in the hospital.
2. Lenny Kravitz
Kravitz eloped in Vegas and married his then-girlfriend, actress Lisa Bonet, in 1987. One year later, on December 1st 1988 the two had their one and only child together, Zoë Isabella. Bonet and Kravitz divorced in 1993, but the two remain best-friends to this day.
In later interviews, Kravitz has opened up about his relationship with Bonet and says that while the relationship was wonderful, they were very young and that the purpose of it was to bring their daughter, Zoë, into this world.
1. Liam Neeson
Another Irish actor and single dad is Liam Neeson. In 2009 Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson, died from a head injury sustained in a ski accident. Since then, Neeson has taken care of his two sons Michael (1995) and Daniel (1996).
Neeson and his late-wife shared some wonderful years together, and the loss is palpable in interviews that Neeson has given. In an interview with Esquire, Neeson describes a moment with one of his sons, boasting “That’s my bonny boy. His mother just shines through him.”
On his 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, Neeson also described how fellow Irishman Bono supported him and his kids after Natasha’s death. Neeson bashfully drops Bono’s name and describes how Bono told his son that he had lost his mother when he was Michael’s age: “That was it. And it — I — I could’ve kissed him for it,” Neeson continued. “He was, like, saying, ‘You know, I lost my mom at this age and I’m doing okay. And you will do okay, too”