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Kurtwood Smith Doesn't Take His That '70s Show Character Home With Him

Who would want Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) from "That '70s Show" as their father? Well, the answer is, more people than you actually think. Red Forman is a name constantly brought up when talking about iconic TV fathers. Time Magazine even ranked him as one of the 10 most memorable fathers in television history. In a Reddit r/television subreddit thread, u/CrashRiot shared why Red Forman is one of the great television dads. "​​For all his tough exterior, he generally supports his son Eric and always wants the best for him. He gives Eric the old Vista Cruiser even though he just went to part time and could've sold it for some extra cash. He prepares an emergency roadside kit when Eric goes to the mountains. ... When someone chastises Eric in the later seasons, Red responds by saying that his son is a fine young man. He essentially adopts Eric's friend Hyde even though he legitimately cannot afford it. He's a loving husband who dotes on his wife and cares for his children more than he would ever admit. What a great character."

It's true that, for all of Red Forman's threats to put his foot in people's behinds, he's actually a loving and hard-working father. Other fans responded with their own reasons for appreciating the character, such as u/garrisontweed, who pointed out the scene where it's revealed that Red has been saving Hyde's (Danny Masterson) rent money and putting it into a savings account for him. User u/fredagsfisk cited the strong relationship that develops between Hyde and Red by virtue of the fact that Hyde understands how much Red did for him.

But, what's it like to have the real Kurtwood Smith as a father? It turns out, he's nothing like Red.

Kurtword Smith doesn't shout or threaten

In a 2014 AMA session in the r/IAmA subreddit, u/jimothy99 asked Kurtwood Smith if the actor had any kids, and "how often does Red come out to them?" Smith responded by saying that he has a lot of kids, both biological and otherwise, including grandchildren, and that Red doesn't ever really come out to any of them. "And when does Red come out? He doesn't," the actor explained. "That would be a better question for them. I think if they ever saw Red, it would only be for the briefest moment and never addressed to them. I think my kids would say I'm not a shouter or a threatener. I don't even know if that's a word. Threatener."

Smith does seem to be a delight to work with, and quite unlike his fictional counterpart, as evidenced by Smith's real-life friendship with "That 70's Show" co-star Debra Jo Rupp. For Rupp's birthday in 2022, Smith tweeted, "A very Happy Birthday to my favorite acting partner and one of the best actors working today. Debra Jo! I hope you had a wonderful day today!" He similarly tweeted a Mother's Day tweet for his on-screen mother from the show, Marion Ross. And for the birthday of the late Robin Williams, Smith's co-star in "Dead Poets Society," Smith tweeted a touching tribute.

So, Smith — who will reprise Red in "That '90s Show" — certainly seems to share none of the crass negativity for which the character is so well known.