David Letterman's only child, Harry, was almost kidnapped when he was a toddler. The suspect was arrested for plotting the crime.
Many people think that parenthood is not for them until they welcome their child into their life. Some even become parents later in life in this regard. For instance, there are many leading men in Hollywood who became first-time dads in their 50s, and they embraced the role with gusto. One prime example of that is actor Hugh Grant, who became a father for the first time at the age of 51. Within a span of a few more years, he welcomed four more children.
And, this actor is not the only Hollywood man to have kids later in life. David Letterman, 73, was 56 when his son, Harry, was born in 2003 to his wife Regina Lasko, 60. The TV show host spent most of his retirement with his son, who is 17 now. "The first year I sure did [miss late night]," he was quoted as saying by People. "You get into a rhythm so I miss that. But the best part is, I get to do stuff with my son, who is now 16," he said.
Unlike some other parents, he thinks that he should be his child's best friend. "Screw that. Look at me — how much longer am I going to be around? I want to be the best friend," he said. "But he’s not keen on me being the best friend," Letterman joked.
"At my age, and this is no breakthrough or revelation, but the most secure I ever feel is when I'm around my son," said the former late-night host to Today. But he has to convince his son to spend some extra time with him.
His career as a host began in 1982 with Late Night with David Letterman on NBC and ended 33 years later with the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS in 2015. He also tried to revive his career recently with the six-episode My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix. The show had guests like Barack Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, JAY-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern.
However, he doesn't miss working much. "The best part is that I get to do stuff with my son," Letterman told Today. His attitude towards parenting now doesn't reflect how he used to be. "I'm so old, and I just love kids now. They used to scare me. I didn't want them because I thought, "I have to focus on this ridiculous career, and kids would get in the way." And now I realize that was a huge mistake," he was quoted as saying by The Hollywood Reporter.
Even though he loves being a father, the talk show host also knows what challenges this role brings. "Parenting is a nonstop, endless horizon of anxiety," he once said, and most parents would agree with him.
"With me and my son, if it was a stranger, there'd be a fistfight. But because it's my son, the next thing you know, we're having meatballs," he told actress Tina Fey, who was talking about how children can be frustrating at times.
Letterman likely was also inspired to develop a deep relationship with his son after Harry was almost kidnapped, one of the worst nightmare a parent could have. His son was only 16-months-old at the time when a man was arrested for attempting to kidnap the child, as per CBS. Kelly A. Frank, who had worked as a painter at the talk-show host's 2,700-acre home, intended to hold the child and his nanny for a $5 million ransom.
"The thought was to kidnap the nanny and the child so the nanny could take care of the child during this period of the kidnapping," said Mike Ferriter of the Montana Dept of Corrections, reports CBS. Afterward, Letterman and his wife said they will "be forever grateful" to the investigators. And, the talk show host continues to be grateful that his son is with him.