Whether you’re a seasoned A-list celebrity or a fresh-faced newcomer, being an actor is one of the most strenuous careers in the world. Every year, these dedicated men and women spend several intense months on the job, juggling the emotional complexities of capturing a new fictional persona with their various personal and professional responsibilities in the real world. A typical film requires hours of travel, line readings, multiple media appearances, production shoots, reshoots… and all this could be for a relatively low budget comedy. Never mind the additional work it takes to bring a beloved comic book character to life, from the grueling workout regimes to the research into decades-long character history!
After about 20 years of superhero films, fans know that it’s long and lonely work, even with a successful payoff. So, it’s always pretty heartwarming to see these same actors sit back, relax, and take the time to enjoy the things they love – such as their families, and especially their children. You don’t have to search too hard to find some dedicated superparents, since big name stars like Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. are frequently out and about with their kids. But there are some famous actors whose family lives aren’t as well-known. Check out our list below, and see if you’re surprised by the superhero actors who have managed to keep their parental identities a secret after all these years in the spotlight!
15 GAL GADOT
You’d be hard-pressed to find an actress as busy as Gal Gadot these days. In the past two years alone she made her incredible DCEU debut as Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, came back to star in the critically acclaimed Wonder Woman solo film, and led the formation of the Justice League in their long-anticipated team-up film.
When she’s not saving the fictional world from certain destruction, Gadot brings her superheroics back home. She has two daughters with her husband Jaron Varsano, an Israeli real estate developer. Notably, Gadot was pregnant with her second child while filming Wonder Woman early last year. We’re going to throw the word “super” around in this article a lot -- just warning you now -- but we definitely think Gadot deserves the title of supermom.
14 JON BERNTHAL
Jon Bernthal may be a freshman addition to the MCU’s television branch, but his expansive sixteen year acting career in film, television, and theater speaks for itself. His latest role has taken him deep into the vengeful psyche of Frank Castle, whose ultra-violent vigilantism has haunted the second season of Daredevil and The Punisher solo series on Netflix. But, once the skull and crossbones costume is packed up for the day, Bernthal displays a noticeably softer demeanor.
Usually, when Bernthal is on the town, he’s cuddling with one of his three adopted pit bulls. While he rivals Chris Evans with his puppy parenting prowess, Bernthal really seems to save his affections for his growing young family. Since 2011, the actor and his wife have had two sons and a daughter. So, we can see the inspiration behind the rare flashbacks to the Punisher’s happier moments of domesticity.
13 ELDEN HENSON
Out of all the dynamic characters on Daredevil, Elden Henson is an undeniable fan favorite as Foggy Nelson, the funny, earnest, long-suffering civilian sidekick to the titular Man Without Fear. In the past two seasons, viewers had the pleasure of watching Foggy mature from a bumbling young adult to a confident ladies man. Who could have predicted that he would snag the likes of super-lawyer Marci Stahl?
Wedding bells and baby fever could soon be in the air for this fictional couple, but thankfully you don’t have to wait until season three to see Foggy take on fatherhood. Henson has a three-year-old son with ex-wife Kira Sternbach, a casting director and actress in her own right. These parents seem to prefer keeping their child away from the public eye, which is probably for the best considering the busy, multigenerational Hollywood aspirations of this family.
12 PAUL BETTANY
Paul Bettany has always given off major Dad Vibes, and that may be because of his veteran status in the MCU. He’s been a steady presence in the cinematic universe since the first Iron Man movie, where he provided the soothing voice behind the computerized A.I. system -- and basically Tony Stark’s surrogate father -- colloquially known as J.A.R.V.I.S.
Now that J.A.R.V.I.S. is the Vision, we may see him and the Scarlet Witch start a family like they do in the comics. But Bettany won’t have any trouble with this development, since he has three kids with Jennifer Connelly. Their romance is actually pretty sweet. Connelly was Bettany’s childhood crush, but it wasn’t until 9/11 that he realized he should confess his love. He moved in with Connelly and her son soon after, and their family has grown ever since.
11 MING-NA WEN
For a superhero franchise, Marvel has a lot of secret agents running with its superpowered heroes. It takes a special kind of character to stand out in this covert crowd, especially when the most iconic representative is the Black Widow. Nevertheless, Ming-Na Wen is up for the challenge. She’s taken Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by storm as the indomitable Melinda May, who frequently proves herself essential in the fight against HYDRA and other villainous foes.
Despite her tough exterior, Melinda has a notable soft spot for kids. In her personal life, Wen clearly does as well. She is the mother of two young children, who she shares with her second husband Eric Michael Zee. Her affection for them comes through in every interview she’s done, and she often rates cooking and watching movies with them as her favorite activities. Wonder if they ever watch Mulan…
10 MIKE COLTER
The quality of Marvel’s roster of Netflix shows may be up for debate, but its career-boosting influence is undeniable for the actors involved. Take Mike Colter, who first wowed audiences as the indestructible Luke Cage in Jessica Jones. Not only has he continued with a Luke Cage solo series and The Defenders ensemble show, but he has also gone on to co-star in other hit movies all year. It definitely helps that he has a very dedicated fanbase of admirers.
Well, we have some bad news for anyone interested in Colter romantically (no shade, he is fine). For one, he is happily married to Iva Colter, the Executive Director of Talent Acquisition over at Netflix. For another, the couple are the very proud parents of a baby girl. After playing coy with the media about his personal life, Colter finally confirmed his little family on The Wendy Williams Show.
9 JEREMY RENNER
After numerous appearances throughout Phase One of the MCU, Jeremy Renner finally became the iconic Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was the funny straight man in an angsty ensemble cast, he served as the surprise recruiter for the wayward Maximoff twins, and he once again proved the strategic merits of archery in a super-robot fight. Plus, he had the best twist in the film -- under all that Kevlar, he’s a regular dude with a wife and kids at home.
We’ve always suspected the cinematic version of Clint Barton is very similar to his actor, and the Hawkeye family reveal doesn’t disabuse our theory as Renner is a father in real life. He and his ex-wife, model Sonni Pacheco, are parents of a daughter. He’s also revealed lately that he wants at least eight kids in the future. Here’s hoping he gets to live his dream on a large farm someday.
8 AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON
Speaking of Age of Ultron, there was another relatively unknown father traipsing around on set with Downing Jr. and Hemsworth. We’re talking about Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the MCU’s short-lived and criminally underutilized version of Quicksilver. Despite the fake accent, kinda awful tracksuit, and the slightly better version of his character over at 21st Century Fox, Taylor-Johnson shined in the role. His presence will surely be missed.
At the very least, Taylor-Johnson will be able to enjoy his family and the indie art films to which he is most accustomed. Despite being a few years away from thirty, he has four children with Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Johnson. The pair met on the set of Nowhere Boy when he was 18 and she was 42, so there was some controversy when they became engaged soon after. But they seem very happy raising their family, so that’s all that matters.
7 AMY ADAMS
Playing a live-action Lois Lane takes a certain chutzpah that is hard for even the best actress to capture. Teri Hatcher and Erica Durance are the usual gold standard, but we’re adding Amy Adams to this list thanks to her five-year run as the Daily Planet reporter. Her Lois is strong and mature, and seeks out justice as fiercely as any superhero in the DCEU. It’s not hard to see why our latest version of Superman would fall for her.
While we’re waiting for this famous couple to take the next great leap in their relationship, Adams has her own family to keep her busy. She is married to actor and painter Darren Le Gallo, and they have one daughter. She describes her husband as the primary caregiver of the family and No.1 supporter of her career, which makes him as much of a superparent as she is.
6 JEFF GOLDBLUM
One of the most exciting superhero movies to come out last year was Thor: Ragnarok. It was director Taika Waititi’s love letter to the neo-psychedelic '80s rock, Indigenous aesthetics, and classic screwball comedies, and somehow he made it all work. A highly beneficial casting decision that helped achieve Waititi’s cinematic vision was Jeff Goldblum as the flashy Grandmaster. He’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved and fashionable actors, so any movie where he’s allowed to capitalize on his chill, eccentric demeanor all but ensures its success.
Other people his age would be settling down with their grandchildren, but that’s just not Goldblum’s style. He and his second wife, Olympic gymnast Emilie Livingston, welcomed their first child soon after marrying in 2015, and they just welcomed their second child early last year. We’re not sure if any more kids are on the way, but like they say… love, uh, finds a way.
5 IDRIS ELBA
Sure, Jeff Goldblum has temporarily stolen the hearts of audience members everywhere thanks to his eccentric performance in Thor: Ragnarok. However, veteran fans know there is no one who can really compete against the alluring charm of Idris Elba in the Thor franchise. His subtle character work as the god Heimdall has elevated him from a minor supporting character to an important part of the ensemble cast, one who consistently protects the Asgardian people in the most endearing ways possible.
But like Goldblum, Elba also has a few children that you might not have heard about. The international heartthrob has a teenage daughter from his second marriage to Kim Norgaard. He also has a two-year-old son with former girlfriend and Naiyana Garth. Elba might be a bit of a serial dater, but coupled with his good looks, the accent, and the talent, his dad status only increases his mass appeal.
4 JASON MOMOA
Jason Momoa has only graced the DCEU for a few months now, but boy have those months been fun. Coming off his memorable role on Game of Thrones, Momoa entered the world of The Justice League as the bad boy renegade prince of Atlantis and made our newest live-action version of Aquaman beyond cool. But, partially due to his sudden success, some fans still seem unaware of his rather famous homelife.
He is the long-term partner, and recent husband, of The Cosby Show actress Lisa Bonet. Together have share two young children, but this also makes Momoa the proud stepfather of actress Zoë Kravitz, whose father is famous rock and soul singer Lenny Kravitz. But Momoa considers all his children “the greatest pieces of art,” and for all his professional success, he wants to be remembered as a good father to them.
3 STELLAN SKARSGARD
Thor: Ragnarok finally exposed fans to the exciting alien diversity of the Ten Realms, but this writer was still just a bit of nostalgia for the familiarity of Earth and its kooky cast of characters. Standing alongside the scientific wonder of Jane Foster and the hilarious Darcy Lewis has always been the brilliant astrophysicist Erik Selvig, wonderfully portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.
Out of all the other superparents on this list, Skarsgård has his work cut out for him. Not only does he have eight children between ex-wife My Skarsgård and current wife Megan Everett, but a good portion of those kids have followed their father’s footsteps into fame. Most prefer acting in the Swedish film scene, but you may know older son Alexander as the vampire Eric on True Blood and middle son Bill as the creepy clown Pennywise in IT. Clearly, the family that acts together stays together.
2 TILDA SWINTON
There is something rather otherworldly about Tilda Swinton. Her only appearance in the MCU has been her role in Doctor Strange as the mystical Ancient One, and despite the whitewashing criticism that followed her casting, it felt strangely appropriate. From her willowy appearance to her casually unconventional behavior -- like the time she stopped speaking for five years, just cause -- Swinton seems more like a fairy from British lore than an actual human being.
But for all her idiosyncrasies, Swinton seems to enjoy a pretty normal life, like the rest of us. She got married to playwright John Byrne in her youth, and together they have twin boys. She’s now romantically involved with painter Sandro Kopp, and the couple seems very adamant about giving her children a good and stable life. Sure, that life is lived in a mysterious estate in the Highlands of Scotland, but… did you expect anything else?
1 STAN LEE
You had to have seen this one coming -- or perhaps you didn’t, since the personal life of Stan Lee has always seemed to be the superhero fandom’s greatest open secret. Of course, it makes sense that discussions about Stan Lee usually revolve around his incredible comic history, his passionate involvement in the mainstream superhero genre, and what will surely be his eternal influence on the entertainment industry.
Still, fans place the man on such a pedestal that we sometimes forget that he’s human, and that he has another identity entirely as a family man. Stan Lee was happily married to his late wife Joan Clayton Boocock for nearly 70 years. Together, the couple has two daughters, adult daughter Joan Celia and a late daughter named Jan Lee. And of course, Stan Lee is the father of numerous amazing characters - and the metaphorical father of generations of superhero fans as well.