You give them ties for their birthdays. In return, they guide you to Oscars, the Oval Office and tee shots that make lesser mortals weep. All that and piggyback rides too. Here, in honor of Father's Day, some famous folks say "Thanks" to the guys who knew them when and loved them always. "My dad was the calming force in the family," soccer star Mia Hamm says. "He helped me through the good times and the bad."
"We go fishing together every winter in Alaska," says Stiller (at age 5), who savors advice from his actor dad, Jerry. For instance? "Take saw palmetto," Ben, 36, recites, "and you will never have prostate trouble."
"He's a great manager but a greater dad," the Destiny's Child diva (dressing up for a beauty pageant in 1989, at 8) says of Mathew. "What a sacrifice he's made for our family to make all our dreams come true."
Now 40, the actress remembers UCLA administrator Bill (with her at 4) "at every single track meet, cheering me on."
GEORGE W. BUSH
"My dad has given me the greatest gift a son can receive—unconditional love," says the younger President Bush (at age 10 months atop his pop, then a 22-year-old Yale University student, in New Haven, Conn., in 1947). "And for that I'm forever grateful."
John Huston (ca. 1960) directed his daughter, now 50, to an Oscar in 1985's Prizzi's Honor
. He was always "the tallest man in the room with the deepest voice," the actress told the Chicago Sun-Times
. "He also had the most charm."
"His levelheaded approach to life set a great example," says the soccer champ (at 4 in '76) of Air Force officer Bill.
"If I had to play my final round," the lord of the links (getting a lesson from Earl at age 13 in 1989) told USA Today
two years ago, "I would play with my dad."
"It's a joy," the actor, 57, says of his adult bond with dad Kirk (here ca. 1955), who was often working. Now they spend more time together. Says Michael: "We have fun."