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Ron Howard

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Title: Ron Howard  
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Subject: Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film, Hans Zimmer discography, Miloš Forman, Apollo 13 (film), Frost/Nixon (film)
Collection: 1954 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, American Film Directors, American Male Child Actors, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American Television Producers, Best Director Academy Award Winners, Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (Television) Winners, Daytime Emmy Award Winners, Directors Guild of America Award Winners, Emmy Award Winners, Empire Inspiration Award Winners, English-Language Film Directors, Film Directors from California, Howard Acting Family, Living People, Male Actors from Greenwich, Connecticut, Male Actors from Oklahoma, People from Duncan, Oklahoma, People from the Greater Los Angeles Area, Producers Who Won the Best Picture Academy Award, Television Hall of Fame Inductees, United States National Medal of Arts Recipients, University of Southern California Alumni, Usc School of Cinematic Arts Alumni
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Ron Howard

Ron Howard
Howard at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
Born Ronald William Howard
(1954-03-01) March 1, 1954
Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Alma mater University of Southern California
Occupation Actor, director, producer
Years active 1956–present
Spouse(s) Cheryl Alley (1975-present)
Children 4; including Bryce Dallas Howard
Parents Jean Speegle Howard and Rance Howard

Ronald William "Ron" Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an American film director, producer and actor.

He came to prominence playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later the teenaged Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for six years.[1] He appeared in the films The Music Man in 1962, American Graffiti in 1973, and The Shootist in 1976, the latter during his run on Happy Days.

Howard made his directorial debut with the 1977 comedy Grand Theft Auto, and left Happy Days in 1980 to focus on directing. His films include Cocoon, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Beautiful Mind, which earned Howard the Academy Award for Best Director. In 2002, Howard conceived the idea for the Fox/Netflix series Arrested Development, on which he also serves as producer and narrator, and plays a semi-fictionalized version of himself.

In 2003, Howard was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[2] Asteroid 12561 Howard is named after him. In 2013, Howard was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Early acting roles and The Andy Griffith Show 2.1
    • Film roles and Happy Days 2.2
    • Directing 2.3
    • Imagine Entertainment 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Director 4.1
    • Producer 4.2
    • Actor 4.3
      • Film 4.3.1
      • Television 4.3.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Jean Speegle Howard, an actress, and Rance Howard, a director, writer, and actor.[3] He has Dutch, Scottish, English, Irish, German, and Cherokee Indian ancestry.[4][5][6][7][8][9] His father was born with the surname "Beckenholdt", and had taken the stage name "Howard" by 1948, for his acting career.[10][11] Rance Howard was serving three years in the United States Air Force at the time of Ron's birth.[12][13] The family moved to Hollywood in 1958, the year before the birth of his younger brother, Clint Howard. They rented a house on the block south of the Desilu Studios, where The Andy Griffith Show would later be filmed. They lived in Hollywood for at least three years, before moving to Burbank.

Howard was tutored at Desilu Studios in his younger years, and graduated from John Burroughs High School. He later attended the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts but did not graduate.[14][15]


Early acting roles and The Andy Griffith Show

Howard with Andy Griffith in The Andy Griffith Show, circa 1961

In 1959, Howard had his first credited film role, in The Journey. He appeared in June Allyson's CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson in the episode "Child Lost"; in the The Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance"; a few episodes of the first season of the sitcom Dennis the Menace, as Stewart, one of Dennis's friends; and several first and second season episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Howard played "Timmy" (uncredited) in "Counterfeit Gun", Season 4, Episode 2 (1960) of the TV series, "The Cheyenne Show."

In 1960, Howard was cast as Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show. Credited as "Ronny Howard", he portrayed the son of the title character (played by Andy Griffith) for all eight seasons of the show. After cancellation, the two would continue to keep in touch (primarily by phone) and would join themselves in two separate TV reunions, for nearly 45 years until Griffith's death in July 2012. As the news of his TV father's death was being reported, Howard released a statement:
"His love of creating, the joy he took in it whether it was drama or comedy or his music, was inspiring to grow up around. The spirit he created on the set of The Andy Griffith Show was joyful and professional all at once. It was an amazing environment. And I think it was a reflection of the way he felt about having the opportunity to create something that people could enjoy. It was always with respect and passion for the opportunity and really what it could offer people in a very unpretentious and earthy way. He felt he was always working in service of an audience he really respected and cared about. He was a great influence on me. His passing is sad. But he lived a great rich life."[16]

In the 1962 film version of The Music Man, Howard played Winthrop Paroo, the child with the lisp; the film starred Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. He also starred in the 1963 film The Courtship of Eddie's Father, with Glenn Ford.

Billed as "Ronny Howard", he appeared as Barry Stewart on The Eleventh Hour, in the episode "Is Mr. Martian Coming Back?" in 1965; on I Spy, in the episode "Little Boy Lost", in 1966; as Henry Fonda's son in an ABC series, The Smith Family, in 1971–72; and as an underage Marine on M*A*S*H, in the episode "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet", in 1973. In the 1970s, he appeared in at least one episode of The Bold Ones, as a teenage tennis player with an illness.

Howard appeared on the 1969 Disneyland Records album The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion. It featured the story of two teenagers, Mike (Howard) and Karen (Robie Lester), who get trapped inside the Haunted Mansion. Thurl Ravenscroft plays the Narrator, Pete Reneday plays the Ghost Host, and Eleanor Audley plays Madame Leota. Some of the effects and ideas that were planned but never permanently made it to the attraction are mentioned here: the Raven speaks in the Stretching Room, and the Hatbox Ghost is mentioned during the Attic scene. It was reissued in 1998 as a cassette tape titled A Spooky Night in Disney's Haunted Mansion and on CD in 2009.

In 1974 Howard guest starred as Seth Turner, the best friend of Jason Walton (Jon Walmsley), in The Waltons, "The Gift". In the episode, Seth wants to learn to play an instrument in his father's band, but it looks as if he will not have the time; he has been diagnosed with leukemia. The concept of death — and the unfairness of it all — is an extremely difficult one for Jason to accept, and it is up to Grandpa to help the boy through this crisis. Featured in the cast as Dr. McIvers is Ron Howard's father Rance Howard.[17]

Film roles and Happy Days

Howard played Steve Bolander in coming-of-age film American Graffiti in 1973.[1] A role in an installment of series Love, American Style, titled "Love and The Happy Days",[18] led to his being cast as Richie Cunningham in the TV series Happy Days. Beginning in 1974, he played the likeable "buttoned-down" boy, in contrast to Henry Winkler's "greaser" Arthur "Fonzie"/"The Fonz" Fonzarelli. On the Happy Days set, he developed an on- and off-screen chemistry with series leads Winkler and Tom Bosley. The three remained friends until Bosley's death in October 2010.

In 1976, Howard played Gillom Rogers in the movie The Shootist, with John Wayne. Howard's last significant on-screen role was a reprisal of his famous role as Opie Taylor in the 1986 TV movie Return to Mayberry, an Andy Griffith Show reunion reuniting him with Griffith, Don Knotts, and most of the cast. He also appeared in two Happy Days TV reunions: 1992's The Happy Days Reunion Special, a retrospective hosted by Winkler that aired on ABC; and 2005's The Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion, where he was reunited with most of the surviving cast. Howard recently revealed that many of the exterior scenes filmed in Happy Days were actually shot in Munster, Indiana.


Before leaving Happy Days in 1980, Howard made his directing debut with the 1977 low-budget comedy/action film Grand Theft Auto.[1] This came after cutting a deal with Roger Corman, wherein Corman would let Howard direct a film in exchange for Howard starring in Eat My Dust!, with Christopher Norris.[1] Howard went on to direct several TV movies.[1] His big theatrical break came in 1982, with Night Shift, featuring Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, and Henry Winkler.[1]

Howard in June 2008 during the filming of Angels & Demons in Rome

He has since directed a number of high-visibility films, including Splash, Cocoon, Willow, Parenthood, Backdraft, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Beautiful Mind (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director), Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Rush.

Howard showcased the world premiere of his film Frost/Nixon at the 2008 London Film Festival in October 2008.[19]

Howard was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival's 2009 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award. Michael Keaton presented him with the Award.

Imagine Entertainment

Howard is the co-chairman, with Brian Grazer, of Imagine Entertainment, a film and television production company. Imagine has produced several films including Friday Night Lights, 8 Mile, and Inside Deep Throat, as well as the television series 24, Felicity, and Arrested Development. Howard also narrated Arrested Development.

In July 2012 it was announced Imagine had put in development Conquest for Showtime. A period drama based on the 16th century conquest of the Aztecs by Spanish Conquistadors. To be directed by Howard, the series was originally planned as a feature film before it being decided that the project was more suited to television.[20]

As part of Imagine Entertainment, he appeared in a 1997 print ad for Milk – Where's your mustache?, in which he wore a cap for Imagine Entertainment and sported a milk mustache. Earlier versions show a younger Ronny Howard on the other side.

Personal life

Ron Howard married Cheryl Alley on June 7, 1975.[21] She is now a writer, as Cheryl Howard Crew.[22] They have four children, the oldest of whom, Bryce Dallas Howard, is also an actor and director.



Year Title Notes
1969 Old Paint Short; credited as Ronny Howard
1969 Deed of Derring-Do Short; credited as Ronny Howard
1969 Cards, Cads, Guns, Gore and Death Short; credited as Ronny Howard
1977 Grand Theft Auto Directed and credited as Sam Freeman
1978 Cotton Candy TV movie
1980 Skyward TV movie; also executive producer
1981 Through the Magic Pyramid TV movie; also executive producer
1982 Night Shift
1983 Littleshots TV movie; also executive producer
1984 Splash
1985 Cocoon
1986 Gung Ho Also executive producer
1987 Take Five TV movie
1988 Willow
1989 Parenthood
1991 Backdraft
1992 Far and Away Also producer
1994 The Paper
1995 Apollo 13
1996 Ransom
1999 EDtv Also producer
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Also producer
2001 A Beautiful Mind Also producer
2003 The Missing Also producer
2005 Cinderella Man Also producer
2006 The Da Vinci Code Also producer
2008 Frost/Nixon Also producer
2009 Angels & Demons Also producer
2011 The Dilemma Also producer
2013 Rush Also producer
2013 Made in America Also producer
2015 In the Heart of the Sea Also producer
2016 Inferno


Year Film Notes
1980 Leo and Loree Executive producer
1981 Skyward Christmas Executive producer; TV movie
1983 When Your Lover Leaves Executive producer; TV movie
1984–1985 Maximum Security Executive producer; TV series
1985 No Greater Gift Executive producer; TV special
1985 Into Thin Air Executive producer; TV movie
1986 The Lone-Star Kid Executive producer; TV movie
1987 Take Five Executive producer; TV movie
1987 No Man's Land Executive producer
1988 Poison Executive producer; TV movie
1988 Vibes Executive Producer
1988 Clean and Sober
1989 The 'Burbs
1990–1991 Parenthood Executive producer; TV series
1991 The Doors Uncredited
1991 Closet Land Executive producer
1996 The Chamber
1997 Inventing the Abbotts
1998 From the Earth to the Moon TV miniseries
1998–2000 Sports Night Executive producer; TV series
1998–2002 Felicity Executive producer; TV series
1999–2001 The PJs Executive producer; TV series
1999 Student Affairs TV movie
1999 Mullholland Drive Executive producer; TV movie
1999 Beyond the Mat Documentary
2000 Wonderland TV series
2000 Silicon Follies Executive producer; TV movie
2001 The Beast Executive producer; TV series
2003 The Snobs Executive producer; TV series
2003 The Break Executive producer; TV movie
2004 Alamo
2005 Inside Deep Throat Uncredited
2006 Curious George
2006–present Curious George TV series
2008 Changeling
2010 Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
2010–present Parenthood Executive producer; TV series
2011 Restless
2011 Cowboys & Aliens
2011 When You Find Me Executive producer; short film
2012 Katy Perry: Part of Me Executive producer
2012 The Great Escape Executive producer; TV series
2003, 2013 Arrested Development Executive producer; TV series
2014 Unsung Heroes Executive producer; TV documentary



Year Film Role Notes
1956 Frontier Woman Bit Part Uncredited
1959 The Journey Billy Rhinelander
1961 Five Minutes to Live Bobby AKA Door to Door Maniac
1962 The Music Man Winthrop Paroo
1963 The Courtship of Eddie's Father Eddie
1965 Village of the Giants Genius
1970 The Wild Country Virgil Tanner
1970 Smoke Chris TV movie
1973 American Graffiti Steve Bolander
1973 Happy Mother's Day, Love George Johnny
1974 Locusts Donny Fletcher TV movie
1974 The Spikes Gang Les Richter
1974 The Migrants Lyle Barlow TV movie
1975 Huckleberry Finn Huckleberry Finn TV movie
1976 The First Nudie Musical Auditioning actor Uncredited
1976 Eat My Dust! Hoover Niebold
1976 The Shootist Gillom Rogers
1976 I'm a Fool Andy TV movie
1977 Grand Theft Auto Sam Freeman
1979 More American Graffiti Steve Bolander
1980 Act of Love Leon Cybulkowski TV movie
1981 Bitter Harvest Ned De Vries TV movie
1981 Fire on the Mountain Lee Mackie TV movie
1982 Night Shift Annoying Sax Player/Boy Making out with Girlfriend Uncredited
1983 When Your Lover Leaves TV movie; uncredited; also executive producer
1986 Return to Mayberry Opie Taylor TV movie
1988 Channel 99 Himself TV movie
1992 The Magical World of Chuck Jones Himself Documentary
1998 One Vision Himself Documentary
1998 Welcome to Hollywood Himself
2000 The Independent Himself
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Whoville Townsperson Uncredited
2001 Osmosis Jones Tom Colonic Voice
2001 A Beautiful Mind Man at Governor's Ball Uncredited
2004 Tell Them Who You Are Himself Documentary
2007 In the Shadow of the Moon Himself Documentary
2011 The Death and Return of Superman Max's Son Short
2013 From Up on Poppy Hill Akio Kazama Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1959 Johnny Ringo Ricky Parrot 1 episode: "The Accused"
1959 Five Fingers 1 episode: "Station Break"
1959 The Twilight Zone Wilcox Boy 1 episode: "Walking Distance"
1959 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Wim Wegless 1 episode: "Child Lost"
1959 Dennis the Menace Stewart 6 episodes
1959 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Dan Adams/Georgie/Little Boy with Ray Gun 4 episodes
1959 General Electric Theater Barnaby Baxter/Randy 2 episodes
1959 Hennesey with Jackie Cooper Walker "The Baby Sitter"
1960 The Danny Thomas Show Opie Taylor 1 episode: "Danny Meets Andy Griffith"
1960 Cheyenne Timmy 1 episode: "Counterfeit Gun"; uncredited
1960 Pete and Gladys Tommy 1 episode: "The Goat Story"
1960–1968 The Andy Griffith Show Opie Taylor 209 episodes
1962 Route 66 Chet Duncan 1 episode: "Poor Little Kangaroo Rat"
1962 The New Breed Tommy Simms 1 episode: "So Dark the Night"
1963 The Eleventh Hour Barry Stewart 1 episode: "Is Mr. Martian Coming Back?"
1964 The Great Adventure Daniel Waterhouse 1 episode: "Plague"
1964 Dr. Kildare Jerry Prentice 1 episode: "A Candle in the Window"
1964 The Fugitive Gus 1 episode: "Cry Uncle"
1965 The Big Valley Tommy 1 episode: "Night of the Wolf"
1966 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Opie Taylor 1 episode: "Opie Joins the Marines"
1966 I Spy Alan Loden 1 episode: "Little Boy Lost"
1967 The Monroes Timothy Prescott 1 episode: "Teaching the Tiger to Purr"
1967 Gentle Ben Jody Cutler 1 episode: "Green-Eyed Bear"
1968 Mayberry R.F.D. Opie Taylor 1 episode: "Andy and Helen Get Married"
1968 The F.B.I. Jess Orkin 1 episode: "The Runaways"
1968 Lancer Turk Caudle/Willy 2 episodes
1969 Judd for the Defense Phil Beeton 1 episode: "Between the Dark and the Daylight"
1969 Daniel Boone Luke 1 episode: "A Man Before His Time"
1969 Gunsmoke Jamie 1 episode: "Charlie Noon"
1969 Land of the Giants Jodar 1 episode: "Genus At Work"
1970 The Headmaster Tony Landis 1 episode: "Will the Real Mother of Tony Landis Please Stand Up?"
1970 Lassie Gary 1 episode: "Gary Here Comes Glory!" Part 1 & 2
1971 The Smith Family Bob Smith 39 episodes
1972 Love, American Style Richard 'Richie' Cunningham 1 episode: "Love and the Happy Days"
1972 The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Cory Merlino 1 episode: "Discovery at Fourteen"
1972 Bonanza Ted Hoag 1 episode: "The Initiation"
1973 M*A*S*H Private Walter/ Wendell Peterson 1 episode: "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet"
1974 The Waltons Seth Turner 1 episode: "The Gift"
1974 Happy Days Richard 'Richie' Cunningham 171 episodes
1976 Laverne & Shirley Richie Cunningham 2 episodes
1980 The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang Richie Cunningham (voice) 1 episode: "King for a Day"
1999 The Simpsons Himself (voice) 2 episodes
1999 Frasier Stephen (voice) 1 episode: "Good Samaritan"
2003, 2013 Arrested Development Narrator, Himself 68 episodes; also executive producer
2013 Top Gear Himself Series 20, Episode 2


  1. ^ a b c d e f Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 1999
  2. ^ Lifetime Honors – National Medal of Arts
  3. ^ "Ron Howard Biography (1954–)". Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Actress keeps name of her famous family". The Vindicator. Scripps Howard. August 3, 2004. p. B7. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gray, Beverly (2003). Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon—and Beyond.  
  12. ^ Gray, pp. 7–8.
  13. ^ Estrin, Eric (Feb 22, 2010). "Ron Howard's 'Breakthrough'?: Ronald Reagan". The Wrap. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Notable Alumni". Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ Devine, Mary (1998). International Dictionary of University Histories. Taylor & Francis. p. 621.  
  16. ^ Finke, Nikki (July 3, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard On Andy Griffith". Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  17. ^ MSN Entertainment The Waltons: The Gift
  18. ^ Love and the Happy Days/Love and the Newscasters
  19. ^ "London Film Festival". September 24, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  20. ^ Showtime & Imagine Team For Aztec Drama Directed By Ron Howard & Penned By Jose Rivera –
  21. ^ Gray, p. 58.
  22. ^ Corcoran, Monica (April 24, 2005). "Cheryl Howard Crew: To the Pier, Intrepidly". The New York Times. 

External links

  • Ron Howard at the Internet Movie Database
  • Ron Howard at AllMovie
  • 2002 Commencement Address (USC School of Cinema-Television)
  • WillowRon Howard: Imagining the Wonders of  – Article at
  • Ron Howard interview video at the Archive of American Television
  • Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture – Howard, Ron
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