Entertainment Celebrities

Mel Gibson finds there's plenty of room at the old dads club

By Liz Braun, Postmedia Network

Mel Gibson (<A HREF="http://www.wenn.com" TARGET="newwindow">WENN.COM</a> file photo)

Mel Gibson (WENN.COM file photo)

Let us now praise famous older men.

Fathers can be useful.

Your dad is the person who might teach you how to drive, how to throw a ball, how to choose a tie or how to cook.

Or any other number of important things, from choosing a dress to riding a bike.

And yes, yes — a father can be anyone. This is not about heteronormativity.

We’re not here to be sexist, genderist or discriminatory about what constitutes fatherdom.

We’re just here to be ageist.

Around the time Rolling Stone Ron Wood had twins this year — at age 68 — people began to notice that quite a few celebrity dads are somewhat long in the tooth.

Old, that is. Past their sell-by date.

Doddering, you might say. Well, you might.

News that fellow Stone Mick Jagger will have another child at age 73 has increased attention to this parental age phenomenon. It’s remarkable how many famous men continue to have children into their 60s and later.

And plenty of others — like you, Alec Baldwin and Hugh Grant — are having kids in their 50s.

So who’s on the 60-plus list? Here’s a baker’s dozen:

Robert De Niro had a baby five years ago when he was 68.

George Lucas became a father at 69.

Aging lothario Julio Iglesias had his eighth child when he was 64.

Steve Martin had his first child, a daughter, at the age of 67.

Rod Stewart had a child at 66 (his eighth), as did Clint Eastwood — his seventh child.

And Hugh Hefner also became a father again at 66.

So did Nick Note.

Elton John had his second child at 66.

Gary Busey had a son at 65.

Woody Allen welcomed infant daughters when he was aged 64 and 65.

Donald Trump fathered wife Melania’s anchor baby when he was 62.

Cute Beatle Paul McCartney was 61 when his daughter with Heather Mills was born.

We mention all these cheerful older dads because the world welcomes them and their offspring with a wink and a nod, quite a different reaction indeed to the news that any woman older than 45 is having a baby.

Lately, science has permitted much older women to become mothers, a situation that elicits shock and disapproval all around. Yet nobody seems to object when yet another rock star becomes a proud papa at an age when one wonders if he’ll see junior’s 10th birthday.

Oh, well.

But it is interesting that having a father who might die of old age before you grow up is treated as a non-issue, while the same situation with a mother is viewed as a disaster: Discuss.

Meanwhile, Mick Jagger’s baby with American ballerina Melanie Hamrick will be his eighth child; those eight are with five different women, but who’s counting?

Already a great-grandfather himself, Jagger and the rest of the Rolling Stones combined have kids whose ages span almost 50 years. Crikey.

Some sociologist somewhere must be desperately trying to get a closer look at that.

As milestones go, the upcoming baby ties Jagger with Charlie Chaplin on the older-celebrity-dad front as Chaplin was also 73 when his last baby was born.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that this is Jagger’s last child.

Finally, let us consider that at 60, Mel Gibson is a young pup who has just made the club with the news that his girlfriend is expecting her first baby.

This will be his ninth child.

Those of you at home scrambling to find the correct spelling of vasectomy (or ‘unseemly’ or ‘embarrassing’) can leave Gibson out of it. He at least has an excuse, which is his adherence to the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church’s stance on birth control. (That stance is: NO!!!)

So, gentle reader: No doubt there are many activities an older father can do with his children. A young father may be full of energy, but many value the wisdom older fathers bring to the table. Of course, you really have to question the wisdom of someone too vain or too stupid to consider all the ramifications of having a child in one’s 60s or later, but never mind.

Here is a handy list of exciting things old, rich celebrity dads can do with their kids:

1) Pay for stuff.

2) Share nap time.

3) Eat soft food together.

4) Tell great stories about things that happened long, long, long ago in the olden days.

5) Teach their children about arthritis, baldness, depression, hearing loss, joint pain, tennis elbow, shingles, macular degeneration, heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, cataracts, wrinkles, prostate gland problems, erectile dysfunction, ingrown toenails, odd-looking belly buttons, circulatory problems, bad attitude, scurf, rabies, scurvy and porphyria.

Unfortunately, we had to make some of this up.

LBraun@postmedi.com