View Full Version : Who are some famous old fathers?
05-18-2004, 01:01 PM
The death of Tony Randall (who became a first-time father at 76 and a last time father 2 years later) has me thinking of other famous men who were elderly when their youngest child was born. (I'm very intriqued by older dads anyway- my own was significantly older than average but nowhere near Randall's age- as they can be really interesting when writing multi-generational fiction).
A few I can think of off the top of my head:
Charlie Chaplin- fathered 8 children with Oona O'Neil, the youngest born when he was 74
Anthony Quinn- fathered two children with his secretary (whom he later married) when he was 78 and 81
Saul Bellow- his youngest child was born when he was 85
Strom Thurmond- all four of his children were born when he was well over 60, the last when he was in his seventies
Clint Eastwood- his youngest child was born when he was in his late 60s
Marlon Brando- he's private about his children, though it's known he has at least 12 and probably more- the youngest three were born to his maid after he was 64-she later sued him for $100 million in palimony
Ron Moody- the actor bka Fagin in Oliver! married in his 60s and has six children from the union
Cary Grant's only child was born he was 62 (pretty young for this list)
James Doohan ("Scotty" from STAR TREK) married a teenager when he was in his mid-fifties and had two sons, then had a daughter with her when he was 80 and his wife was in her 40s
William Shatner is in his early 70s and expecting a baby with his 4th wife.
Any others you can think of?
05-18-2004, 01:14 PM
Correction to above: Shatner is considering having a baby with his wife, but she isn't pregnant. (He was on a radio interview program and I just read the transcript.)
05-18-2004, 02:56 PM
John Tyler, 10th President of the United States, fathered his youngest daughter, Pearl, at the age of 70. She died in 1947, more than 100 years after her father had been President. I know President Tyler's grandson and several more of his descendants. They're all very nice folks, and up until recently they kept Sherwood Forest, Tyler's home in Charles City County, open to the public even though they also lived there.
Spectre of Pithecanthropus
05-18-2004, 03:34 PM
I heard Larry King, the news/talk show host had a child late in life, but I don't remember the details.
05-18-2004, 06:20 PM
A couple of more UK specific examples:
Des O'Connor (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3562331.stm), the singer and TV presenter now aged 72, is currently expecting a child with his wife.
Lord Young of Dartington (http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,634129,00.html), one of the country's leading 20th century social policymakers, had a child when he was 80.
05-18-2004, 06:42 PM
George Washington died in 1799 at age 67. As Father of the country, he's still producing children, although quite a few have behavior problems, thanks to ol' George being an absent father.
05-18-2004, 06:56 PM
Old Father Time.
(ducks and runs for cover)
05-18-2004, 07:09 PM
Oldfather Hall (http://www.math.unl.edu/)
05-18-2004, 08:54 PM
David Letterman just had a son last year at age 56.
05-18-2004, 08:55 PM
Larry King, who is 70, has son aged 3 and 4 with much younger (fourth) wife Shawn Sutherland.
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
05-18-2004, 08:58 PM
Strom Thurmond- all four of his children were born when he was well over 60, the last when he was in his seventies.
Dude, where have you been for the past year?
05-18-2004, 09:30 PM
Dude, where have you been for the past year?
Rephrase: all four of his legitimate children were born after he was 60.
plnnr, that is amazing about knowing President Tyler's grandson! My own geneology has a bit of a time warp. I am the granddaughter of a Civil War soldier.
Interesting thread, Sampiro. I would have loved seeing Tony Randall and Dave Letterman comparing notes.
05-18-2004, 09:51 PM
I would have loved seeing Tony Randall and Dave Letterman comparing notes.
I remember that shortly after becoming a father Tony read the Top 10 Differences between Old & Young Fathers on Letterman's show. I don't remember all of them, but they included "mother has to change two sets of diapers" and "A young father worries that his baby will stop breathing during the night- an old father worries that he will stop breathing during the night".
Ed Asner & Jack Nicholson both lost longterm significant others in their late 50s when they impregnated younger women outside the relationship. (Some women just won't even try to understand such things.)
Paul McCartney (while at 62 younger than most of the dads in this thread) just had a baby with his new wife. (They seem like a very happy couple.) It'll be strange being born 40 years after Beatlemania.
Jimmy Durante became a father at 70 (though in his case the baby was adopted).
Harvey Korman stated on a recent interview said that his younger children are "far too young to know who the hell I used to be". (He's 77; they were born long after Carol Burnett went off the air.)
Bernie Kopell (Love Boat, Lancelot Link, Get Smart) started a new family in his late 60s; David Brenner's youngest sons have been born in his 60s.
Child stars Hayley Mills and Susan Dey both married men way way way older than they were who were over 60 when their respective children were born. (Dey divorced but remained close to her first husband; Mills's first marriage was a disaster in which her husband abused and embezzled from her and their son goes by the name of Mills to distance himself from his father.)
05-18-2004, 10:27 PM
Other old fathers in American history (number in parentheses their age at the birth of their youngest child)-
Presidents: Benjamin Harrison (64), Grover Cleveland (66), Thomas Jefferson (67- if you accept the Sally Hemings paternity case)
Douglas MacArthur (60- only child), Sam Houston (67), Brigham Young (69 [his 57th child), Charles Lindbergh (70- the child was illegitimate, his third with his longtime German mistress).
Andrew Carnegie was a notorious Mama's boy who shared a bedroom suite with his mother and pledged never to marry while she was alive. She died when he was 52; a few weeks later he married his secretary. His only child was born he was 62 but he lived to walk her down the aisle (albeit very slowly).
Toussaint Charbonneau, the trader and guide for the Lewis & Clark expedition most famous for being the (abusive) husband of Sacagawea (and of her sister wife Otter Woman) survived Sacagawea by many many years and took numerous wives from various Indian tribes. The last was a 14 year old captive he bought (just as he had Sacagawea) when he was 80 and they had a child. (He had two children with Sac. but didn't raise them; their son Jean Baptiste [bka Pomp], the only baby pictured on U.S. currency, had a particularly interesting life, but that's another story.)
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