Tag Archives: famous father

Make Room for Daddy

“All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why.”

—Danny Thomas

Today’s story is about Marlo Thomas and her dad Danny Thomas.

Daddy’s little girl had exciting news. An A+ essay at school. But Daddy was on the road. So she read it to him over the phone. That conversation changed his life. And hers. And possibly yours.

Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas (right) and her sister Terre in 1969

Margaret (“Marlo”) Thomas has now grown up. She’s an actor like Dad.

Her dad — Danny Thomas — became a household name in his day. But it wasn’t always that way. He started his career touring small clubs as a comedian. He traveled extensively and was often away.

Marlo remembers:

“Because [Dad was touring] it was like having a long distance daddy a lot of the time. And he would always call us long distance, every single night… READ MORE 

Conway Twitty’s Son Had Three Dads

“I’m often asked what it’s like to be Conway Twitty’s son.”

—Michael Twitty

Today’s story is from Michael Twitty.

Country music icon. Thousands of performances. Millions of fans. Folks look at me with pity or awe. Awe, because I’m a Twitty, after all. Pity, because everyone knows famous musicians don’t have much time for their kids. It’s true.


Young Michael with granddad Papaw

Meetings. Practices. Recording. Interviews. Touring. Dad was constantly on the road. I didn’t see him a lot growing up. It’s what he was. It’s what he was born to be.

But don’t feel sorry for me. Growing up, I had three dads — not one. Papaw (Dalton Floyd Jenkins), my granddad, he was a steamboat captain on the mighty Mississippi. My uncle Howard was also there for me. And Conway, my natural dad.

When Dad was on tour, he would call every day. But he arranged more than a chat on the line. When Dad was away, I had Uncle Howard and Papaw for play. READ MORE 

Daddies Die, But They Never Go Away

His life was cut short in ’93 at just 59.
Harold Lloyd Jenkins shaped music history.

Never heard of him? Yes you have. His stage name… Conway Twitty.

Conway Twitty son Michael Twitty talks about Dad — an exclusive interview with Savvy Dad.

Conway reigned supreme in country music with fifty-five consecutive number one records. He played with Elvis, Johnny Cash and other legends at Sun Studios.

father and son

Michael Twitty with his father, Conway Twitty

He reached into outer space when his famous hit “Hello Darlin” was broadcast between American and Russian astronauts—a gesture of international good will.

But this is not about Conway, the star. It’s about Conway the Dad. Savvy Dad interviewed Conway’s son, Michael Twitty (a stage name too — Michael was born Michael Lloyd Jenkins).

We learned “That’s My Job” — a song about fathers, the impressions they leave, the love they bequeath — was more than a hit song. It’s family history, one of Michael’s best memories of Dad.

The Weight of His Father’s Shadow

Wealth. Access. Status. Options.
Kids of fame have it made.

Today’s story is about Scott Newman, son of Paul Newman, garnered from public sources.

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” –Democritus
his father's shadow

Paul Newman and his son Scott Newman

Paul Newman is remembered for much. Star of the screen. Stunning good looks. A 50-year marriage. “Newman’s Own” foods.

Scott, Paul’s only son, dwelt in the darkness of his father’s shadow. Joanne Woodward, Paul’s second wife and Scott’s stepmom, commented, “When the kids go anywhere with him, they can be pushed aside by fans, as if they don’t count, as if they’re nothing in themselves.”

A friend observed, “He was always competing with his father’s image.”

My Dad, Jim Henson, Taught Us Learning Is Cool

His teachings were brilliant, lessons of felt.
Lessons of Felt?

Today’s story is from Lisa Henson, daughter of Jim Henson of Muppet fame.

He “fathered” thousands…but never met most. Jim Henson fathered The Muppets. Creatures of felt. He brought us Sesame Street, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, so much more.

Jim Henson taught us that learning is cool.
Counting to ten could be fun.
Jim Henson, Learning is Cool

Lisa Henson with her father Jim Henson*

But what was it like to be a real Henson kid? “We were always doing extraordinary things,” says Lisa, now 53 (the same age as Jim when he died). Making it fun was how the Henson kids learned that learning is cool.

“Dad (and Mom) were always up for play,” says Brian, 50. Games and more games. And felt puppets—of course.

Jim taught his kids through engagement and fun, lessons of felt. Brian, a technical whiz, Dad taught puppet building. Lisa showed a knack for editing. “From age 12, I read and gave feedback on his scripts… ”