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September 1, 2014

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Father Knows Best: Black Dads On TV & In Film

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With Father's Day steadily approaching within the next few weeks, we decided to take a look at some of the most notable African American fathers that have graced television and motion picture screens over the years. In addition to our comprehensive list below, check out our gallery featuring all your favorites.

Most Notable Black Dads On TV & In Film (In No Specific Order):

1. Redd Foxx: Fred Sanford
2. Bill Cosby: Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable
3. Flex Alexander: Flex Washington
4. Terry Crews: Julius Rock
5. Duane Martin: Robert James
6. Sherman Hemsley: George Jefferson
7. Eddie Murphy: Dr. Dolittle, Evan Danielson
8. John Amos: James Evans, Sr.
9. James Earl Jones: Coming To America
10. Denzel Washington: John Q
11. Ice Cube: Durell
12. Rockmond Dunbar: Kenneth 'Kenny' Chadway
13. Laurence Fishburne: Furious Styles
14. Will Smith: Chris Gardner

Do you agree or disagree with our list? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Black Dads On TV & In Film

    Father Knows Best: Black Dads On TV & In Film
    Various images of African American fathers have graced television and motion picture screens over the years. From Bill Cosby's lovable Cliff Huxtable on 'The Cosby Show' to Terry Crews' comic relief on 'Everybody Hates Chris,' it's easy to cite memorable father figures. Following his role as the father in 'Dr. Dolittle,' Eddie Murphy returns to the big screen as another dad, Evan Danielson, in 'Imagine That.' The film hits theaters June 12. See some of the others.

    Paramount/ NBC/ Sony/ CBS

    Bill Cosby: Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable
    There wasn't a more even-tempered, junk food-craving and all-around loveable television father than Bill Cosby. During the '80s, Cosby reigned supreme as Cliff Huxtable, the patriarch of 'The Cosby Show.' Cosby had almost total creative control on the series, in which he played an obstetrician raising his five children with his attorney wife, Clair, in Brooklyn Heights, New York. The show stressed the importance of family and higher education, the latter of which Cosby has advocated for and financially supported for decades.

    NBC

    Denzel Washington: John Q
    Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington hasn't played the role of father many times in his career, although he has four children of his own. Yet in the 2002 'John Q,' the 54-year-old Mount Vernon, N.Y., native effortlessly conveyed how one father, John Quincy Archibald, holds a hospital hostage until his son's name is put on the heart transplant list.

    New Line

    Duane Martin: Robert James
    The UPN sitcom 'All of Us,' loosely based on Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith's blended family, found actor Duane Martin as Robert James, a divorced entertainment reporter trying to keep the peace between his ex-wife, Neesee, and his fiancée, Tia, for the sake of his son. The show ran for four seasons before being canceled in 2007.

    Cliff Lipson, CBS

    Eddie Murphy: Dr. Dolittle
    In the family comedy 'Dr. Dolittle,' Eddie Murphy plays the title character, a doctor who discovers that he can talk to animals. In real life, the Academy Award nominee is a father of eight. In the film, the former 'Saturday Night Live' cast member plays a father to two daughters, Charisse, played by Raven-Symone, and Maya, played by Kyla Pratt. Two follow-ups were released and another is said to be in production.

    20th Century Fox

    Eddie Murphy: Evan Danielson
    On June 12, comedian Eddie Murphy will play father to another little girl in 'Imagine That.' The film follows Murphy as Evan Danielson, a successful financial executive who turns to his 7-year-old daughter for help with his business problems. The 'Beverly Hills Cop' star played a father in the film 'Dr. Dolittle' and is the second highest grossing actor in motion picture history.

    Paramount

    Flex Alexander: Flex Washington
    Being a single father is not a story that gets broadcast too often, but Flex Alexander nailed the role of Flex Washington on 'One on One.' This former Salt 'N' Pepa background dancer played a full-time dad whose daughter moves in with him when his ex-wife takes a job overseas. Flex also created and produced the UPN sitcom, which ran for five seasons, from 2001 until 2006.

    UPN

    Ice Cube: Durell
    In the comedy 'First Sunday,' Ice Cube plays Durell, a man who plots to rob a church with his best friend to pay off a debt and keep his son's mother from moving to Atlanta. The former NWA rapper lucks up and is able to prevent his ex from uprooting and taking their son down South.

    Sony

    James Earl Jones: King Jaffe Joffer
    Tony Award-winning actor James Earl Jones played royalty in the 1988 comedy 'Coming to America.' As his Majesty King Jaffe-Joffer of Zamunda, Jones' character allowed his son, Akeem (played by Eddie Murphy), to visit America in search of a wife before returning home to go through with his arranged marriage.

    Everett Collection

    John Amos: James Evans Sr.
    For three seasons, Emmy Award-winner John Amos portrayed James Evans on 'Good Times,' a sitcom about a family living in an apartment in a Southside Chicago housing project. After the third season, James was killed, leaving wife Florida to raise their three children without the strong hand and discipline of her husband.

    CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images



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