Fatherhood is tough enough for any Average Joe; a father shares responsibility with the mother to make sure his children are happy and safe, while instilling his offspring with a strong moral compass, all the while maintaining a stable home. We often hear that the man before the responsibility of fatherhood is a different person than the man after, and with the success of a little life on his hands that's hardly surprising.
Celebrity fathers have another complication thrown in: Living their private lives in public. Even a simple outing like going for pizza or froyo can be a daunting task for a celebrity family when the paparazzi is around. These stars’ children may or may not be accustomed to flashing lights on the streets, but they must know their lives are different from those of their classmates.
The nine celebrity fathers on this list have gone on record discussing how their lives have changed for the better since they had children. They don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk too. These fathers - some of whom are still with the mothers of their children and some who are not - have consistently proved they're involved in their kids’ lives despite their crazy schedules and the demands of the celebrity lifestyle. In stark contrast to our recent examination of the world's worst famous dads, these are some of the best.
9 Johnny Depp
Versatile A-list actor and father of two Johnny Depp deems himself a good father to his two children, Lily-Rose and John AKA Jack. He once told iVillage, “And I’m proud to say it, because as parents do, I worship my kids and I learn from my kids. It’s the only thing I want to be good at in my life.” He also told People Magazine that he wished his children would have "a perfect life, perfect happiness and perfect health – perfect everything."
8 Gavin Rossdale
In 2014, British musician Gavin Rossdale reunited with his band Bush for a world tour after years of a solo career. Rossdale has two children, Kingston and Zuma, with No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani. In his Spin magazine interview, Rossdale talked about how “it’s always painful when I leave on tour,” but that his career shows his children one has to work hard for a living.
“I want to set an example for my kids,” he said. “I say, 'Look at this house … this is how you get it.' I don't understand the idea that you're unable to do both. People have done it for a long time, and you find a balance. I'm not going to be one of those dads who are always away and doesn't have any contact with home. I'm the opposite."
7 Chris Martin
He’s certainly a father who’d rather maintain his privacy, but Coldplay frontman Chris Martin said he views his fatherhood status the same way he sees his position as the lead singer of a band: both “filled me with even more wonder and incredulous gratitude”. Martin has two children, Apple and Moses, with his wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
"It makes me see everything in more color,” he told USA Today. “Things I thought were brilliant before, I think are trebly brilliant. And things I was worried about before seem trebly more concerning. I'm sure it's all the clichés every dad says. It just makes life more intense. We've only got a finite period here, so we may as well pack it with as much feeling as possible."
6 Matthew McConaughey
The Oscar-winning star of “Dallas Buyers Club” said making family a priority is key to being a successful family man. He has three children - Levi, Vida and Livingston - with his wife, Brazilian model Camila Alves.
“When you’ve got family, you have to pick your extracurriculars,” Momtastic.com quoted McConaughy as saying. “Whoever has kids knows that, man. You have to pick and choose and go ‘Wait, which is the one I really want to do because I ain’t watching all the Saturday’s football and I’m not watching all of Sunday’s. I’m not going to be a kayaker, a snow skier and a marathon runner.’ No, you gotta zero in when you got kids and a family.”
5 Ben Affleck
Fatherhood saw Affleck's life take a 180. He was a tabloid target when he dated Jennifer Lopez, but since marrying Jennifer Garner and raising their three children Violet, Seraphina and Samuel, he retreated to a more private life. According to Us Magazine, Affleck said his family has added to his existence.
"They're most important in my life," he said. "Family is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't mean you can't do other stuff in your life. In fact, having a family makes whatever other thing you have that much richer. If it was just me, I'd be home alone and think, 'Well, something good happened at work,' but it's much nicer to share it with people you love."
4 Brad Pitt
As father to six children - three biological and three adopted - Brad Pitt demonstrates his fatherly capabilities whenever he’s out and about with his family. Despite his and his family’s rather ubiquitous appearances on tabloid covers, Parade Magazine reported in 2013 that Pitt turns a blind eye to the tabloid speculations about his relationship with actress Angelina Jolie, his children’s mother. Instead, he focuses on the love he shares they all share.
“There’s constant chatter in our house, whether it’s giggling or screaming or crying or banging,” he once told Esquire magazine. “I love it. I love it. I love it. I hate it when they’re gone.”
3 Hugh Jackman
Fatherhood is the number one priority for Hugh Jackman, star of “Les Misérables ” and the “X-Men” film franchise. On the talk show "Katie", Jackman told Katie Couric how much he loves being the father of two adopted children, Oscar and Ava, with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness.
Jackman once said about fatherhood, "Becoming a father, I think it inevitably changes your perspective of life. I don't get nearly enough sleep. And the simplest things in life are completely satisfying. I find you don't have to do as much, like you don't go on as many outings."
2 Will Smith
As the father of three, Will Smith epitomizes good fatherhood for many - though some believe he may be a little pushy in ensuring his kids stay in the media limelight. He had his son Willard Christopher "Trey" Smith II with his first wife Sheree Zampino, and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith and Willow Camille Reign Smith with his second wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith is known for his involvement with his children’s careers, and even released the hit 1998 single “Just the Two of Us” featuring a very young Jaden.
"There's so much negative imagery of black fatherhood," Smith once said. "I've got tons of friends that are doing the right thing by their kids, and doing the right thing as a father - and how come that's not as newsworthy?"
1 David Beckham
With his fashion designer and former Spice Girl wife Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham (née Adams), retired soccer star David Beckham has four children: Brooklyn, Cruz, Romeo and Harper. Beckham scored wide recognition for his hands-on fathering skills to the point where the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England applauded his parenting skills.
“In my career there’s many things I’ve won, and many things I’ve achieved,” Beckham said in the (U.K.) Mirror Online. “But my greatest achievement is my family. What matters is being a good father and a good husband – just being connected to family as much as possible. Being a dad is more important than football, more important than anything. I adore children. I love the fact our children are part of both of us. It’s one of the most amazing things ever.”