Home Blog Al Pacino and Robert De Niro join famous old dads from history – The Washington Post

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro join famous old dads from history – The Washington Post

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Actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have been getting mistaken for one another for decades. They’re about the same age, and they share Italian names, tough-guy personas and appearances in Martin Scorsese films. And now they will reportedly share one more thing: being really old dads to newborns.
Pacino, 83, is expecting a child with his producer girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, 29. De Niro, 79, recently became a dad for the seventh time. And they join, actually, a lot of actors of their generation who are in the same boat.
The oldest man to father a child in history is disputed. Biblical claims aside (sorry, Abraham), a Baptist preacher in Illinois named James E. Smith claimed in 1951 to have fathered a child at 101 but couldn’t prove his age; neither could Indian wrestler Ramajit Raghav, who said he had fathered a child at 96 in 2012. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest father who had the documentation to prove it was Australian Les Colley, who in 1991 fathered a son with his third wife when he was 92.
Here are some other notable men who had their mojos working well into their golden years.
John Tyler, the 10th U.S. president, is notable for a lot, even if his presidency itself was forgettable: He was the first veep to take over for a deceased president, in 1841; the first to marry while in office; and the oldest president or former president to have fathered a child. In 1860, his second wife gave birth to his 15th child when he was 70 — more than a decade after he left the White House. He died two years later while serving in the Confederacy.
One of Tyler’s sons, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr., also had children late in life. As of November 2020, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, the grandson of a president born in 1790, was still living at a nursing facility in Virginia.
President Grover Cleveland also married and fathered children while in office. In 1886, he married his 21-year-old bride — the daughter of his deceased best friend — when he was 49. She had the first of their four children a few years later, between Cleveland’s two nonconsecutive terms; Cleveland was 66 when their last child was born. However, he had already admitted to fathering an illegitimate child in 1874, when he was 37. The mother claimed Cleveland had raped her.
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By the time Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Hasher al-Maktoum, married his second wife, he was an old man. His eldest son from his first marriage, Rashid, was in his mid-40s and the de facto leader running things behind the scenes. When the sheikh’s youngest son was born in December 1958, the sheikh would have been 80 — if he had still been alive. He had died about two months earlier. That youngest son, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, is now CEO of the Emirates airline.
Lots of musicians have had children at an older age: Beatles member Paul McCartney had his youngest when he was 61; Rod Stewart had his eighth child in 2011, when he was 66.
Julio Iglesias Puga was not a musician; he was a gynecologist. But he fathered one of the most legendary Spanish performers, singer Julio Iglesias, and his love life rivaled that of his famous son, his exploits appearing often in gossip columns, according to El Mundo. In 2004, the then-88-year-old had a son with his longtime love and second wife, Ronna Keith, telling media, “I want to leave this gift to my wife, leave things well done so that she is accompanied in her widowhood.” Their second child was born in 2006, seven months after his death at age 90.
Iglesias the singer was in his 60s when his youngest half-sibling was born; the next year, he became a father for the eighth time.
“American Idol” alum Katharine McPhee, the mother of music executive David Foster’s youngest child, has the rare distinction of being at least as famous, if not more so, than her decades-older spouse. The couple first met on the show in 2006, when she was in her early 20s and he was in his 50s, though they didn’t marry until 2019. Foster was 71 when McPhee gave birth to their son in 2021. Of raising his five adult daughters from previous relationships and being a father now, he told People magazine: “It’s just great being a dad. It’s too cliché to say ‘Now I have more time,’ but I do: I have more time.”
A post shared by Katharine McPhee Foster (@katharinefoster)
The Rolling Stones comprise so many old dads that they merit their own category. First, there’s bluesman Muddy Waters, the original “rolling stone,” from whom the band would get its name. According to biographer Robert Gordon, Waters fathered his first known child when he was 21 and his last when he was 50. In his later years — he died in 1983 at 70 — his home in Westmont, Ill., was full of children: his own, stepchildren, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has eight kids: The youngest was born in 2016 when Jagger was 73. Not to be outdone, guitarist Ronnie Wood became a father to twins the same year at age 68.
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Actor James Doohan was mostly known as “Scotty” on the original “Star Trek” series, but he had a long and, well, productive, life decades after the show ended in 1969. He married a young fan of the show in 1974; they had three kids, the youngest of whom was born in 2000, when Doohan was around 80.
Comedian-writer-musician Steve Martin wasn’t nearly that old — only 67! — when his daughter was born in 2012, but he deserves a shout-out for being the oldest first-time dad on the list. In 2016, he raved about being an older father, calling it “fantastic.”
“When I was younger, I was selfish and focused on my career. Now I’m just hanging around the house playing with [my daughter]. It’s great,” he said.
Charlie Chaplin is mostly associated with the silent-film era of the 1910s and 1920s, but he was also a father of 11 children. The youngest was born in 1962, when Chaplin was 73.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated how old Paul McCartney and Ronnie Wood were when their respective children were born. It also incorrectly stated when 88-year-old Julio Iglesias Puga had a child. This version has been corrected.

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