Neither dad in 1978’s Superman gets a ton of screen time, but Jonathan (Glenn Ford) raises Clark and, with Martha, helps instill in him the values that he’ll need in order to use his incredible powers for the benefit of others. Marlon Brando’s Jor-El gets credit as well, not only for creating and building the oddly tiny rocket that sent his son to Earth but also for showing up to offer advice from beyond the grave. Kal-El was the sole survivor* of that doomed planet, and that’s almost entirely thanks to his dad, who sent along an interactive virtual dad for Kal to talk to when the young Superman needed a morale boost, or just a Kryptonian history lesson. I’m saying it took two dads (and a couple of great moms, as well) working together from across the universe to shape Clark.
(Between salary and profit points, Marlon Brando earned around $20 million in 1978 dollars for fewer than 20 minutes onscreen, making him not just one of the best, but also one of the best-paid dads on the list.)
*Or one of dozens, including at least one dog, depending on which version of the story we’re talking about.
Where to stream: HBO Max