The Creepy Phenomenon Of The Stage Dad

We hear a lot about stage mothers, but some young stars — most recently Thora Birch — have to deal with stage dads too. And they can be even creepier.

Thora Birch's dad, former porn star Jack Birch, made headlines today for allegedly getting her fired from an off-Broadway production of Dracula. According to the Post, her dad threatened another cast member — a source says he flipped out when he saw a costar rubbing Thora's back, and yelled, ""Listen, man, I'm trying to make this easier on you — don't touch her." Another source adds, "She's a 28-year-old actress and her manager — her dad — was with her . . . all the time. It was more than a little weird and creepy."

The momagers of the world — from mogul Kris Jenner to tabloid magnet Dina Lohan — get a lot of media attention, and a lot of flak for being materialistic or overinvolved. But there's something extra-creepy about the stage dad who's involved not just with his daughter's career, but with her sexuality. No adult, famous or no, needs her dad around as a backrub monitor — just like Jessica Simpson really didn't need her dad talking about her "double Ds." And just like Miley Cyrus doesn't need Billy Ray telling her what to do with her hair.

Actresses are already in an unenviable position: their appearance and sexual behavior become fair game for discussion by media and laypeople alike. Having their dads butt in to comment on or manage these things just makes their lives harder — and (at least in Birch's case) has creepy Purity Ball overtones to boot. I prefer the take offered by Carroll Dunham, dad of Tiny Furniture writer/director/star Lena Dunham:

As the father of the artist, I kind of check out. I don't love watching the sex scene in Lena's movie, but I don't have to.

Dad Gets Star Thora Axed From 'Dracula' [NY Post]