As you may have noticed, men are not women. In most cases this doesn't matter for acting – you know, besides the peeing sitting down bit, and the nudity thing – but one of those is the fact that when a man is in the process of becoming a father there are no obvious signs. A man can go through an entire pregnancy without anyone noticing. Unlike a woman of course, which after all was the subject of my Mother's Day post this year. But what about after the baby comes and becomes a full-fledged human being. Even then we really don't have to know anything. Nothing is obvious after all. No one has to know that dear old dad is a dear old dad in real life (or for that matter on a drama – since most are set in a workplace you don't need to know much about their personal lives while for women it's often a major plot point; but that's a subject for next year's Father's Day post). But what fathers can do is appear in a show with their off-spring. And some of those children grow up to be actors in their own right.
Desi Arnaz – Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz(?): This is a bit of a stretch but inevitably I go back to I Love Lucy for a first. In the last episode of the half-hour I Love Lucy (the show went to an hour length as the The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour for the last two seasons of its existence) there were two small children at the dedication of a statue in Westport Connecticut – a statue which Lucy has accidentally destroyed of course. At the statue dedication there are a couple of kids, a little boy and a little girl. Vivian Vance, as Ethel Mertz asks the little boy if he can see. The little boy is none other than Desi Arnaz Jr. while the little girl has long been thought to be his sister Lucie. However in its notes on the episode TV.com claims that "It has been said that the Arnazes' daughter Lucie appears in the episode. She doesn't show up in the episode, although Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lucie's childhood playmate do." Lucie and Desi would later co-star on their mother's third series Here's Lucy. Subsequently both children went off to their own careers. Lucie had some success in film, TV and Broadway, notably in the 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer opposite Neil Diamond, and the Broadway musical They're Playing Our Song. She even had her own series - The Lucie Arnaz Show – which ran for six episodes. Desi Arnaz Jr. has a much more extensive IMDB resume with a lot of guest starring work in the 1970s. Improbably he appeared in his own series, Automan. Even more improbably it lasted thirteen episodes – seven more than his sister's show (which in my not so humble opinion was infinitely superior). Perhaps his most interesting movie role was his small part in the movie The Mambo Kings: he played Desi Arnaz Sr. – his father.
Lloyd Bridges – Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges: Lloyd Bridges's first entry into Television was probably one of the iconic syndicated series of the late 1950s, Seahunt. On the show Bridges played former Navy frogman turned freelance diver Mike Nelson. Nelson – so far as we could tell at least – was a single man without children. In real life Lloyd Bridges was married with four kids. The two oldest children Beau and Jeff both made appearances on Seahunt on several occasions – twice each for Beau and Jeff Bridges. Subsequently Lloyd Bridges starred in the Aaron Spelling produced anthology series The Lloyd Bridges Show which ran from 1962-63. Not only did Jeff and Beau Bridges appear in episodes of the series, but so did Lloyd's daughter Cindy Bridges. Years later, in the 1993 series Harts Of The West starred Beau Bridges in the lead role and his father Lloyd Bridges in a supporting role.
James Daly – Tyne Daly and Tim Daly: James Daly did a number of TV shows over the course of his career, including the Star Trek episode Requiem for Methuselah, but he is probably best known for playing Dr. Paul Lochner in the 1969 series Medical Center. Actually these days he's probably best known as the father of actress Tyne Daly and her brother Tim Daly. Tyne Daly appeared four times on Medical Center with her father, playing different roles in each episode. This must have been confusing for Dr. Lochner because one of the roles that she played (in the episode "Moment of Decision") was Jennifer Lochner, Dr. Lochner's daughter. But Medical Center wasn't the first time that father and daughter had worked together; they did an episode of Ironside called "The People Against Judge McIntyre" together in 1970. And Tyne wasn't the first of his children that James Daly worked with. In 1966 he did an adaptation of Ibsen's An Enemy Of The People for National Educational Television (NET) with his then 10 year-old son Tim. It was the only time they ever worked together.
Martin Sheen – Renee Estevez and Emilio Estevez: Everyone knows that Renee Estevez appeared on The West Wing, appearing as Nancy, one of President Bartlett's numerous secretaries. Her role on the show was never a big one; a few words here, a "Mr. President" there. It wasn't a big part but she was a member of the regular cast. Emilio Estevez also made an appearance on The West Wing, although he didn't appear with his father. In the episode "25" there are some home movies of a young Jed Bartlett with his youngest daughter as a small child. The younger version of Bartlett was played by Emilio Estevez. Martin Sheen also appeared with his son Charlie Sheen in Charlie's series Two And A Half Men playing the father of Rose, Charlie's neighbour/stalker.
Ozzie Nelson – David Nelson and Rickie Nelson: If ever there was a case of taking your kids to work it was Ozzie Nelson. When The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet made the transition from radio to TV in 1952 he decided that the ideal actors to play his two sons David and Ricky were... his two sons David and Ricky! It's not really surprising – they'd been playing themselves on radio since 1949 but sometimes radio actors didn't make the transition very well. Later when his sons married Ozzie brought their wives June Blair and Kristin Harmon on as their wives. Ricky of course went on to be the big star of the family. Between 1957 and 1962 he had 30 Top Forty hits and appeared in several movies. As for David, he never became a huge star but did do some acting and a certain amount of work as a producer and director. In fact he even directed episodes of The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet.