Here's a theory. Celebrities who come under criticism for their parenting choices, who are attacked for wearing this or that – all those things fans and reporters find to criticize – are most often the ones who have made a choice to make many elements of their lives very, very public.
They make appearances. They share details of their lives, pictures of themselves, and shots of their babies and children on social media.
For example, is there anyone out there who does not know the name of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s first child off the top of their head? Heck, even I know that. (It’s Luna.)
Well not all celebrities choose to live their lives this way. While grabbing media attention may somehow make their stars shine brighter, they choose to keep the focus on their careers, be that acting, singing, modeling, or something else in that crazy and glamorous industry.
These comedians and performers might just tend to keep their family life a little more under wraps than some others.
Although they are loveable and ultra-famous stars, not everyone can rattle off when their wives got pregnant or the middle names of their firstborn children.
They are 20 celebs everyone forgets are even dads.
20 Jerry Seinfeld Makes Dad Jokes
You have to know who Jerry Seinfeld is. Even if you weren’t yet around, or old enough to watch sitcoms, in the ’90s, my guess is that Seinfeld is still showing on this or that network on cable and satellite TV these days. It’s one of those shows that just never, ever went away.
Not only did the series by comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David run from 1989 – 1998; it has also continued to air on various other networks in all of the years following that. We’re talking about more than 30 years here, people.
So you’re probably familiar with Jerry Seinfeld’s famous face and situational comedy, but did you know that he also has THREE kids? Yep, that’s right.
I found him to come across as a total (and totally great) “dad” type in his more recent endeavor Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
19 Cutie Benedict Cumberbatch
This quite captivating Brit is loved by fans the world over for his intelligent and fast-talking portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, for seven years (from 2010 – 2017), in the hit BBC drama Sherlock.
Although he might be known for playing a bachelor almost impossible to truly get close to (through all the layers of sarcasm, genius, and protective guises), in reality, he’s an actor – with a wife and two sons.
Christopher Carlton Cumberbatch (born in 2015) and Hal Auden Cumberbatch (born in 2017) call the famous actor Dad. Sophie Hunter is Mom, and she married Benedict in 2015.
So yeah, he’s probably been kind of busy, what with all the incredibly successful shows and movies he’s been working on, too.
Youngster Hal will have just turned one at the time of this article’s publication, and older bro Christopher is 2½.
18 Matt Damon’s Massive Fam
There was a time that you couldn’t escape seeing Matt Damon movies every now and then. He’s known for his seriously talented acting, writing, producing, and more.
And some people find him pretty cute, too, starting perhaps with his Good Will Hunting starring role opposite Minnie Driver and Robin Williams way back in 1997. He wrote the movie along with Ben Affleck, and he was in his mid-twenties at that time. Wow.
He’s won so many awards for his talents in all things film that it might make your head spin. Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, and many more movies are all “Matt Damon movies.”
And – AND – he has four daughters. They are Alexia Barroso (a step-daughter born in 1999), Gia Zavala Damon (age 9), Stella Damon (age 7), and Isabella Damon (age 11).
17 Larry David: Dad!
I think maybe it’s largely the Baby Boomers who adore the comedy stylings of Mr. Larry David, but even though I’m far from being in this group, I think he is one of the funniest people I have ever seen perform or heard speak.
He’s the co-creator of Seinfeld (along with Jerry Seinfeld), in case you didn’t know.
HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm is his more recent project, starring him as himself, which is where I came to understand who the man was and how he makes all the awkwardness of life’s various social situations into something addictingly watchable and completely, laugh-till-you-cry funny.
I was like, “Really???” the first time I heard that he had kids, and I bet many fans of Curb out there had the same reaction.
See, that show features many scenarios very closely mimicking his own real life, including his divorce from his wife, and the TV Larry David has no children. But the real one does – two, in fact: Cazzie David and Romy David.
16 Benicio Del Toro, Too
Can you picture film bad-boy with sleepy / druggy looking, dark eyes Benicio del Toro settling down with a nice little wife behind a white picket fence? Me neither. And he hasn’t.
But he does have himself a daughter. Delilah del Toro was born in 2011, and the 6-year-old little girl actually has two famous parents.
Her mother is Kimberly Stewart, a socialite also involved in the biz whose father is rock star Rod Stewart.
Can you keep track of all of that?
I’ve loved watching Benicio onscreen, myself, since the ’90s, when he was huge and starred in a variety of movies in a variety of genres. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and silly dramatic rom-com Excess Baggage are my two personal favorites.
And here we are, decades later, and he’s in super hero flicks and Star Wars movies!
15 One-Time Teen Heartthrob Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Remember a little NBC sitcom about aliens who came to Earth looking like a (sort of) ordinary human family on a research mission? I sure do.
It was called Third Rock from the Sun, and the youngest member of the family was a kid with shoulder-length brown hair and a kind face played by none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
At the time, he caught the attention of young fans and was featured in teeny-bopper magazines and things like that.
From there, he went on to have a serious acting career. You may know him from more recent work Looper, Don Jon, Inception, or 50/50.
He doesn’t play the dad type, but rather the young man, often sort of alone and on a mission.
That’s why it may come as a surprise to you that in real life, he’s a father to two children with wife Tasha McCauley.
14 Orlando Bloom’s Crew
Orlando Bloom had the female members of my generation swooning once the Pirates of the Caribbean movies started coming out in the early 2000s. The English actor was also in The Lord of the Rings movies, so yeah, he’s kind of a big deal.
And did you know that he was married for a few years (from 2010 – 2013) to model Miranda Kerr?
Also, he has young son, who is now 7 years old: Flynn Christopher Bloom.
The 41-year-old may forever live on in our hearts as a handsomely boyish bachelor, but here in the real world, he’s already been married once before and is playing the role of parent.
He’s been described as a “doting dad.” Awww.
Recent headlines speak of the ultra-famous actor having a relationship with none other than pop star Katy Perry.
13 Family Man Matthew McConaughey
Oh, Matthew McConaughey. Whether you think he’s a super cool dude or can’t help but sort of chuckle at the characters he both plays and seems to present in real life, I bet you know his name.
He’s stared in popular comedies, plenty of rom-coms, and dramas.
He’s had longer, curly hair and shorter locks. He’s been known to work out shirtless on the beach from time to time.
But he’s not just a famous face and body playing the perpetually cool character. He’s also a papa.
One publication described him as “one of the coolest dads around.”
His three children are named Livingston Alves McConaughey, Vida Alves McConaughey, and Levi Alves McConaughey.
He wed his wife Camila Alves back in 2012.
Here’s a fun fact: McConaughey is reportedly a co-teacher at the University of Texas at Austin. He helps to teach a film class.
12 Fatherly Tom Ford
Fashion designer Tom Ford launched his own fashion line in 2006, and even if you don’t completely understand who this guy is, I bet it’s likely that you know his famous name. He did use it for his company, too, after all.
Before that, he was the creative director at none other than Gucci, and he also held that title at famous fashion house Yves Saint Laurent.
The incredibly successful fashion man is married to Richard Buckley, and they’ve been together since 1986.
And they also have a son together. Alexander John Buckley Ford apparently goes by “Jack.”
The 56-year-old success story and father, originally from Texas, has also directed two Academy Award-nominated films, A Single Man and Nocturnal Animals.
His own parents were realtors, and he grew up in the suburbs.
11 One Of Each For Hugh Jackman
Actor Hugh Jackman has been around for a long time now, starring in all sorts of things, including super hero movies, and he’s caught quite a lot of attention for looking great while doing it.
One publication said he had a “perfect body” and also that he was “obviously smitten” with his two kids, who are reportedly adopted.
His son is called Oscar, and he was born in May of 2000. His Daughter is named Ava, and she came along in July of 2005.
His parenting has been described as “playful,” as well. For example, he’s been caught on camera doing things like having snowball fights with his kids and sliding down the slide at the playground.
His wife, Deborra-Lee Furness is the kids’ mom.
So there you have it! He’s so much more than Wolverine.
10 Usher Sings A New Song
Was Usher crooning sexy songs over the loudspeakers at most of your school dances growing up?
Or were those your jams as you cruised around back in the day?
The R&B singer with the distinctive moniker has two kids!
While you may associate him with songs that seem like a soundtrack to baby-making, he is actually a dad to real babies in real life.
He spoke in an interview once about being there for the birth of his son Usher Raymond V (who was born back in November of 2007). The singer said, "It wasn't gory at all -- I cut the cord and everything. It was the realest tear I ever cried. It was uncontrollable; when I heard his voice, I just cried [snaps fingers] like that."
His other child is named Naviyd (and was born in December of 2008.)
9 Jon Stewart Hosts A Full House
To be able to speak intelligently – and hilariously – on so many political and world-news topics on a show that’s filmed live must require some serious smarts, and quite a bit of bravado.
Comedian Jon Stewart, right around the time that his Daily Show on Comedy Central was insanely popular, was also starting a family.
Did you realize that the dad, who’s been described, also, as “hot,” by the way, is a parent to two kids?
His son, Nathan, was born in July of 2004, while his daughter, Maggie, came along in February of 2006.
Here’s what I would also like to bring up that you may not recall about the host and comedian: Does anyone else remember a little film called Half Baked from 1998? Yeah, you might wanna YouTube that right now.
8 Family-Friendly Will Ferrell
I was saying just the other day that I didn’t understand why some people are so annoyed by Will Ferrell. I’ve personally always found him to be uniquely and ridiculously hilarious.
The person I was talking to, who I think I ended up agreeing with, said that some people find the whole “man-child” thing annoying.
Well whether you think this wide-eyed comedic actor is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on or off of Saturday Night Live or you think you might puke if you have to watch Elf with your kids one more time, how about considering how entertained his own kids must be?
He has not one, not two, but THREE sons.
Magnus was born in March of 2004. Mattias came along in December of 2006, and Axel joined the growing fam in January of 2010.
7 Two For Tobey Maguire
Anyone who stars in a hit Spider-Man movie is bound to catch a little bit of attention. And also to be remembered forever as a boyish character.
He played the naïve teen in movie Pleasantville back in the day, and then of course Peter Parker.
Back in 2007, he got married to real-life leading lady Jennifer Meyer, who is apparently a jewelry designer by trade.
They have two kids together, Ruby, who was born in November of 2006, and Otis, who came along in May of 2009.
So there you have it! Though this brunette actor may bring to mind images of boyishness and wide-eyed innocence, here in the real world, he’s a man all grown up with a family of his own.
This year, he’s actually already 42 years old. How did that happen?
Another fun fact? Daughter Ruby’s middle name is Sweetheart.
6 Jack Black Sires Sons
Funny man Jack Black may have been entertaining you with his funny jams and musical stylings since, well, back in the day, or maybe you only know who he is because of hit movie School of Rock.
Either way, you probably picture that slightly bigger fella with squinty dark eyes, a devilish grin, and hair shagging over his rounded face.
But do you picture a dad?
Actually, maybe you do, what with Kung Fu Panda and everything.
How weird do you think it must be for Black’s two children to watch the hit animated films about a panda who loves to eat and learns to believe in himself and succeed at martial arts, becoming a hero? They see a funny panda, but they hear their very own dad!
Black’s son Sammy was born in June of 2006, and Thomas came along in May of 2008.
5 Chris Martin’s Kids With Gwyneth
Man, do you remember how much media attention Gwyneth Paltrow and then-husband Chris Martin got for naming their daughter after a fruit (Apple)?
These days, far more unique names are popping up each and every day, both in the celebrity world and down here are planet Earth.
I guess anything the celebrity couple did was probably bound to catch a good amount of attention, though. When the mom of the family is a hugely famous actress and personality and the father is the frontman to an insanely popular band (Coldplay), people will talk.
I feel like it was mainly Gwyneth, though, who received the media attention at the time. I don’t think I even really knew that the singer from Coldplay was her hubs and the father.
But that he was! Apple was born back in May of 2004, and Moses then followed in April of 2006.
The couple is now divorced.
4 Conan O'Brien Keeps It Cool
The tall, funny man with the red hair hosted his own late-night show on NBC for, like, forever and then went on to famously host The Tonight Show for a while.
But while you may know his unique voice as if it lulled you gigglingly to sleep for more than a decade, because it very likely did, you may not know that he host and comedian has a couple of kids with his wife, Liza Powell.
First of all, there is his daughter. She’s named Neve (cute, right?), and she was born to the famous father in 2003.
Then there is also a son, born in 2005, called Beckett. Now I have to wonder, English major that I am, if this might be a nod to the famous Irish playwright, given that Conan, as I recall, frequently referenced his own Irish heritage.
3 Robert Downey Jr.’s Two Juniors
I have seen recently posted around social media one of those inspiring little stories about what a difficult past actor Robert Downey Jr. has come from and what an amazing (and reportedly amazingly kind and generous) success he has now become. Perhaps you have, too.
But although he may be known for being a heartthrob from back in the day and a super hero Ironman these days, he may not be immediately associated with the word “dad.”
But a dad he is!
He is actually a parent to two of his own boys, with the interesting names Indio (whose mother is Downey’s first wife, Deborah Falconer) and Exton. And then there’s also his daughter, Avri, who was born in 2014 to the actor and his second wife, Susan Downey (who is also the mother of Exton).
2 Sons For Colin Farrell
Perhaps strangely, I haven’t had all that many celebrity sightings, but I did once share a flight with actor Colin Farrell, who was incredibly huge at the time. (And no, we were certainly not flying in the same class.)
The Irish actor is known for having that whole dark and handsome thing going on, but perhaps not so much for being a father – to two, in fact!
It’s been reported that his two boys are quite adorable, and also that they are “spitting images” of their dear old dad.
They go by James and Henry – how traditional!
Perhaps the Irish looker caught your eye during his performances in In Bruges or Phone Booth, but of course he’s been in a whole slew of movies and TV shows -- far, far too many to list here.
1 Hugh Dancy’s Child With Claire Danes
Actor Hugh Dancy is known for being in a few different varied movies and TV series, such as Ella Enchanted and the seemingly quite different Hannibal.
What caught my eye in reading up about the British actor, age 42, is that he’s married to actress Claire Danes. (For me, anyone who starred alongside “Leo” in Romeo & Juliette is among the more memorable of all actors and actresses.)
So there’s one super fun fact that you may enjoy.
And on top of this, the two famous faces have a child together! His name is Cyrus (expectant parents could be building a pretty sweet list of baby name ideas while reading through this – am I right?).
His latest work is show The Path, which premiered in 2016, but he’s been active in a variety of projects ever since the late ’90s.
References: Vogue.co.uk, Parents.com, InStyle.com, HelloMagazine.com, Google.com, Wikipedia.org, IMDB.com