TODAY | March 25, 2013
>>> to an emotional story from actor jack shepherd . the "parenthood" star opens up about the touching moment his dying father met his unborn child. do xa shepherd is known for playing the jokester on shows like punked.
>> dax, that is me.
>> reporter: and in movies like "employee of the month."
>> i didn't see you sitting there.
>> reporter: he stars on nbc's "parenthood" as the somewhat clueless crosby who doesn't always know what he's doing as a father.
>> you think you handled it?
>> yeah, maybe not entirely.
>> reporter: but the 38-year-old surprised fans this week with a serious and emotional blog sharing the last days of his own father who died last year after a four-month bat well cancer. shepherd writes "we were two great minds with one single thought, get into the end zone gracefully." as shepherd sat with his dying father his pregnant fiance access kristen bell paid a surprise visit introducing grandfather to the grandchild he would never meet. "he was smiling from ear to ear, sitting contently, unable to put together a sentence, but still capable of connecting to the new family member we were creating."
>> we're used to getting to know celebrities through short tweets, that's how we think we know them. when you read a huge essay that's almost 1,000 words and it just feels more intimate and that's why this touched so many people.
>> reporter: shepherd and bell, who he already calls his wife, are one of hollywood's most likeable couples, off the screen and on.
>> terrible on the eyes --
>> reporter: their baby due this spring has already given shepherd a moment with his father he says he'll never forget. "if i live to be a thousand, i will still be in debt to my wife for giving him that one last thrill." gracefully moving from his real world role as a son to his next role as a father. for "today," nbc news, los angeles .