Love Boat

Jim 1970s

DAD’S JOB: Your Ship’s Captain (according to the credits) KIDS: Vicki Stubing (Jill Whelen)(10) WHERE’S MOM?: Showgirl girlfriend – left when daughter was a baby. STAND-IN “MOM”: none Vicki, the near-invisible daughter on Captain Stubing’s Love Boat, was a throw-away, forgettable character. No probing episode focused on the relationship between Vicki and her dad was ever aired. Then again, when …

Paper Moon

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1974 DAD’S JOB: Con Man KIDS: Addie Pray (Jodie Foster) (8) WHERE’S MOM?: Missing – Dead maybe. STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown From the movie of the same name. Dad was a con man who sold Bibles in depression-era Kansas. Addie was his world-wise 13-year-old daughter who was actually a lot tougher than Dad. Mostly operating outside the law, they did …

Sanford & Son

Jim 1970s

DAD’S JOB: Junk Dealer KIDS: Lamont (Demond Wilson) (almost 30) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead a few years. Unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page) / aunt Fred Sanford pushed the limits of role reversal in the TV Single Dad framework. Fred’s world was basically financed by his son, Lamont. Lamont had no love for the situation he found himself in …

Nanny & The Professor

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1970-71 DAD’S JOB: Math Professor KIDS: Hal(David Doremus) (12), Butch (Trent Lehman) (8), Prudence (Kim Richards) (5) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead a few years. Unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Phoebe Figalilly (Juliet Mills) – “Nanny” Nanny & The Professor represented a “last hurrah” for Sixties-style TV Single Dads; in fact, it barely made it into the Seventies. The story was a …

Getting Together

Jim 1970s

Aired: 1971-1972 DAD’S JOB: Songwriter KIDS: Jennifer Conway (Susan Neher) (12) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – so is Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”: Rita (Pat Carroll) / Landlady A spin-off of another single-parent show (The Partridge Family), this “vehicle” for teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman put him as guardian of his 12-year-old sister, Jennifer. Unlike its successful parent series, Getting Together came apart after …

Stagecoach West

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1960-1961 DAD’S JOB: Stagecoach Driver KIDS: David Kane (Richard Eyer) (13) WHERE’S MOM?: Unknown STAND-IN “MOM”: Possibly Luke Perry (Wayne Rogers) / Stagecoach Co-pilot Uh, this is kinda like Love Boat on a stagecoach, and without the comedy. Simon and Luke drove the stagecoach between California and Missouri, and Simon’s son travelled with them. Maybe someday they’ll make a …

My Little Margie

Jim 1950s - 1960s

AIRED: 1952-55 DAD: Vernon Albright (Charles Farrell) / Widower DAD’S JOB: Investment Banker KIDS:  Margie (Gale Storm), 18 WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – so is Dad. STAND-IN “MOM”:Mrs. Odetts (Gertrude Hoff) The granddaddy of them all, My Little Margie set the stage for most TV Single Dad sitcom plots: the child decides Dad needs a new wife, and goes “shopping” for …

O.K. Crackerby!

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Richest man in the world KIDS: Cynthia (Brooke Adams), Hobart (teenagers), and O.K. Jr. (age unknown) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead – unknown causes. STAND-IN “MOM”: St. John Quincy (Hal Buckley), the Crackerby kids’ tutor O.K., like Jed Clampett, was a recent billionaire. The difference was that O.K. was not okay about his roots, and was always trying to get …

Bachelor Father

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD: Bentley Gregg (John Forsythe) / Single (!) DAD’S JOB: Lawyer KIDS: Kelly (Noreen Corcoran)(14) WHERE’S MOM?: Mom and Dad both dead. Bentley was Kelly’s parents’ attorney and executor – wound up with wardship! STAND-IN “MOM”: Peter Tong (Sammee Tong) Should have been called “Suddenly Dad;” this show was a retake on the My Little Margie scenario, except Uncle Bentley …

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

Jim 1950s - 1960s

DAD’S JOB: Magazine Editor (or something like that) KIDS: Eddie (Brandon Cruz) (10) WHERE’S MOM?: Dead recently – unknown cause. STAND-IN “MOM”: Mrs. Livingston (Miyoshi Umeki) This show is based on the 1963 Glenn Ford movie of the same name. The epitome of TV Single Dads, Bill Bixby is, along with Brian Keith, among the first TV Single Dads brought …