He may have just been Uncle Jesse on Full House, but now John Stamos has another role under his belt. After his wife Caitlin McHugh gave birth to a boy earlier this month, the actor finally became a dad at age 54. And the first-time father picked a movingly fitting name for son number one.
Like many an established actor, John Stamos seemed destined for a completely different career path. Born to restaurant owner Bill Stamos in 1963, the future star seemed likely to follow his father into the family business. But a life-changing trip to a Beach Boys concert in 1976 convinced the young actor that his future lay beyond food.
Following his graduation from high school, Stamos decided to skip the college experience for a shot at the big time. Luckily, his gambit paid off and in 1981 – three weeks after deferring his education – the actor landed the role of Blackie Parrish in General Hospital. And his enthralling portrayal of Rick and Lesley Webber’s foster son helped Stamos gain the attention of every casting agent in Hollywood.
Within the next decade, Stamos gained leading roles in the shows You Again? and – most importantly – Full House. Meanwhile, a later role in ER from 2005 to 2009 helped him gain a whole new generation of fans. But despite his success on the screen, the star was always missing something from his life.
Long considered one of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors, Stamos never seemed to have much luck in love. Yet his string of romances – including a failed marriage to Rebecca Romijn – never killed his dreams of something more. “If I died and didn’t have any children, I would feel like… I’ve accomplished nothing,” he confessed to People in 2009.
But after seemingly spending years in the romantic wilderness, in 2016 the star gave hints that he’d finally found someone special. During an appearance on The View in March of that year, Stamos revealed that he was dating again. And a few weeks later, People magazine announced that his mystery woman was actress Caitlin McHugh.
And it seemed that Stamos knew that McHugh was the woman for him pretty much right from the off. “I’ve been waiting for the perfect girl for over a decade, and she walked into my life,” he confessed to People in October 2017. Indeed, so sure was the actor that McHugh was “the one,” that he popped the question just a year after they began dating.
By all accounts, the couple had already had a fairytale romance. Fittingly, Stamos even asked for McHugh’s hand in marriage during a trip to Disneyland. Yet the power pair’s life managed to get even better when – just a couple of months after announcing their engagement – they discovered they were expecting child number one.
For Stamos, this was the family dream he’d always hoped would come true. “We have the same morals and the same values, that all clicked nicely,” the star explained to People during the pair’s pregnancy announcement. “So we said, ‘Oh, well, maybe we should have a family.’”
As the days went on, the comedy star couldn’t contain his excitement over his impending fatherhood. In March 2018 Stamos even posted a flashback shot on Instagram from a scene in Full House showing the actor with a mock pregnancy. “This is the longest nine months of my life!” he wrote below the image.
Before he could go from Uncle to Daddy Jesse, however, Stamos still had to make good on his marriage promise to McHugh. And in February 2018 the actor and his bride tied the knot at a church in Los Angeles. Now husband and wife, the pair braced themselves for the world of parenthood.
But the couple wouldn’t have to wait long before the stork paid them a visit. In a heartwarming snap uploaded to his Instagram in April, Stamos introduced fans to his family’s latest addition. “From now on, the best part of me will always be my wife and my son,” he wrote alongside a picture of him embracing his newborn child.
Certainly, Stamos and McHugh weren’t the only ones pleased with their new arrival. Indeed, the former’s Full House co-star Candace Cameron Bure voiced her excitement on the social media site. “I’m overjoyed for you and Caitlin,” she enthused in the comment section. “You guys deserve nothing but the best.”
Nevertheless, the sight of the star’s new son wasn’t the only special thing about Stamos’ post. Besides introducing his child to the world, the actor also revealed that the boy’s name was Billy. And as he went on to explain, this moniker had a special meaning: it was one that belonged to his father.
By all accounts, Bill Stamos – who passed away in 1989 – was a huge influence on his screen-star son. For example, it was Stamos, Sr. who encouraged his young son to pursue his passion into showbiz. Moreover, the restaurateur also approved of the actor’s decision to put higher education on hold while he looked for work in Hollywood.
Because of this, Stamos has always had a huge respect for his dad – a respect that hasn’t faltered with age. As the star explained to People last year, “You know how you put your father on a pedestal, and he’s a superhero, and then as you grow older you go, ‘Ah, he’s just a man?’ I never got to that point.”
Even when he and McHugh were expecting their son, Stamos never lost sight of his father’s guiding hand. In December 2017 the actor even uploaded a touching baby picture to Instagram and shared his hope that he could be just as good a parent. “I will certainly fall short of the father my pop was,” he wrote, “but – I’m going to give it my all.”
Moreover, though it may be in honor of the star’s father, his son’s name will always be bittersweet for Stamos. Having also lost his mother in 2014, the screen idol feels his loss magnified through fatherhood. “It kills me that my parents aren’t here to be part of this,” he told People. “But I know it probably wouldn’t be happening if they weren’t up there.”
Since his son’s birth on April 10, Stamos has been experiencing the full force of parenthood. “I cry a lot,” the star confessed to People. But fortunately, the tears he sheds are very much of joy. “[Fatherhood] is more beautiful than anyone told me it would be. I’ve been waiting a long time.”
Equally importantly, McHugh is doing “great” as well. “She’s incredible,” Stamos gushed about the new mother. “She just eased through it like she does everything else in life.” Of course, it seems like the two have taken to parenthood with the greatest of ease. And we can’t wait to see more of this new family in the months to come.