Ron Howard

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Ron Howard
Ron Howard 2011 Shankbone 3.JPG
Howard at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
BornRonald William Howard
(1954-03-01) March 1, 1954 (age 59)
Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1956–present
Spouse(s)Cheryl Alley (m. 1975–present)
Children4; Bryce Dallas
  (Redirected from Ronny Howard)
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Ron Howard
Ron Howard 2011 Shankbone 3.JPG
Howard at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
BornRonald William Howard
(1954-03-01) March 1, 1954 (age 59)
Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1956–present
Spouse(s)Cheryl Alley (m. 1975–present)
Children4; Bryce Dallas

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 the Academy Award-winning Cocoon, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Beautiful Mind. 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.

Early life[edit source | edit]

Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Jean Speegle Howard, an actress, and Rance Howard, a director, writer, and actor.[3] His father was born with the surname "Beckenholdt", and had taken the stage name "Howard" by 1948, for his acting career.[4][5] Rance Howard was serving three years in the United States Air Force at the time of Ron's birth.[6][7] 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.[8][9]

Career[edit source | edit]

Early acting roles and The Andy Griffith Show[edit source | edit]

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 in the 24th episode 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. Howard also spent a lot of time with Griffith off-screen because Griffith was like a father to him .[citation needed] 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."[10]

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.

Film roles and Happy Days[edit source | edit]

Howard played Steve Bolander in George Lucas's coming-of-age film American Graffiti in 1973.[1] When asked in 2000 if he would ever like to return to acting, Howard replied, "Only if I can act with Cindy Williams again", referring to the actress who played opposite him in American Graffiti.[citation needed]

A role in an installment of series Love, American Style, titled "Love and The Happy Days",[11] 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. He had hopes they would work together again; he quotes Wayne as saying, about a couple of months after filming wrapped on The Shootist, "I found a good script, kid... it's you and me, or it's nobody."[citation needed] But it was not to be, as Wayne had already been diagnosed with the terminal cancer that would kill him three years later. As a token of respect, Howard narrated the film's opening montage, which showed various clips from Wayne's long film career.

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.

Directing[edit source | edit]

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 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's younger brother Clint has minor roles in most of his movies. He has also cast his father and mother in a number of roles. Both his wife Cheryl Howard and father Rance Howard appeared in Angels & Demons, as a CERN scientist and as Cardinal Beck, respectively.[12]

Howard showcased the world premiere of his film Frost/Nixon at the 2008 London Film Festival in October 2008.[13]

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[edit source | edit]

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.[14]

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[edit source | edit]

On June 7, 1975, Howard wed his high-school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley, a writer with a degree in geriatric psychology. Their first child, daughter Bryce Dallas Howard was born on March 2, 1981. Their twin daughters Jocelyn Carlyle Howard and Paige Carlyle Howard were born in 1985. Their fourth and last child, Reed Cross Howard, was born in 1987. His daughters' middle names indicate where they were conceived, Bryce in Dallas, and twins Jocelyn and Paige at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. Son Reed Cross was named after Lower Cross Road, a street near their Greenwich, CT home, because "Volvo isn't a very good middle name", according to Howard.[15] Daughters Bryce and Paige are actresses. Ron Howard became a grandfather when his daughter, Bryce, and son-in-law Seth Gabel welcomed their first child, son Theodore Norman Howard Gabel, on February 16, 2007. Ron Howard became a grandfather for the second time when Bryce and Seth welcomed their second child, daughter Beatrice Jean Howard Gabel, on January 19, 2012.

In the June 2006 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Howard was asked, "What do you consider your greatest achievement?" He replied, "Forty-eight consecutive years of steady employment in television and film, while preserving a rich family life."

Howard in popular culture[edit source | edit]

Howard was depicted twice in The Simpsons. In "When You Dish Upon a Star", Homer meets and befriends Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger and Howard. Later in the episode, Howard is injured when trying to jump from a jeep to the RV that Homer was driving. In the end, he pitches Homer's movie idea and gets it approved. Another episode ("Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder") Homer and Howard are fighting each other while appearing on The Springfield Squares. Later, Howard gives Homer the inspiration to spend more time with his kids and offers him some money that Homer refuses at first but later accepts. Howard yanks the money back and drives away.

When Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, Murphy called Howard "Opie Cunningham".

In the South Park episode "Ginger Kids", Cartman asks a crowd of fellow gingers to name great Americans with red hair, the only name they can think of is "Ron Howard". When asked to name a second, one responds "Ron Howard" again.

On a VH1 special about the 100 greatest child stars, many of the interviewees considered Ron Howard to be the most successful child star of all time, considering his two major television acting roles and his directing career.[citation needed]

In the Season 3 finale of the Emmy Award-winning, critically acclaimed series Arrested Development (for which he was executive producer and narrator), Howard appears as himself in an epilogue at the end of the episode and refers to himself as "a Hollywood icon". Howard reprised his role as the narrator for Season 4, as well as a significantly expanded acting role as himself.

Jessica Chastain bears an uncanny resemblance to Ron Howard's daughter Bryce Dallas Howard.[16] This sparked a rumor that Jessica Chastain is Ron Howard's illegitimate daughter.[17] In season 4 of Arrested Development Isla Fisher played Ron Howard's illegitimate daughter Rebel Alley. The character resembled Jessica Chastain and was a dig at the rumor.[18] Rebel's surname, Alley, is Howard's wife's maiden name. However, the joke was that Rebel was given that last name after where she was conceived, as per the tradition of Howard giving his children middle names after their places of conception (Dallas, Carlyle, and so forth).

In Season 1, Episode 3 of Stroker and Hoop on Adult Swim, Stroker and Hoop run a detective agency whose first client needs them to make Ron Howard stop controlling his mind.

In October 2008, Howard reprised his roles as Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham for the first time in over 20 years when he appeared in a video on in which he endorsed Barack Obama and urged people to vote. The video, titled "Ron Howard’s Call to Action",[19] also features Griffith and Winkler. In the video, Howard shaves his beard and wears a wig in order to recreate the way he looked when he was younger.

Ron Howard made a cameo appearance in the 2009 music video for Jamie Foxx's song "Blame It" alongside Forest Whitaker, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the video he is shown holding a glass of champagne.[20]

In Season 5, Episode 18 of Rescue Me, Tommy is said to resemble "Opie with hair".

In Series 20 of the popular automotive television programme Top Gear, he appeared as a guest in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment.

Filmography[edit source | edit]

Director[edit source | edit]

1969Old PaintShort; credited as Ronny Howard
1969Deed of Derring-DoShort; credited as Ronny Howard
1969Cards, Cads, Guns, Gore and DeathShort; credited as Ronny Howard
1977Grand Theft Auto
1978Cotton CandyTV movie
1980SkywardTV movie; also executive producer
1981Through the Magic PyramidTV movie; also executive producer
1982Night Shift
1983LittleshotsTV movie; also executive producer
1986Gung HoAlso executive producer
1987Take FiveTV movie
1992Far and AwayAlso producer
1994The Paper
1995Apollo 13
1999EDtvAlso producer
2000How the Grinch Stole ChristmasAlso producer
2001A Beautiful MindAlso producer
2003The MissingAlso producer
2005Cinderella ManAlso producer
2006The Da Vinci CodeAlso producer
2008Frost/NixonAlso producer
2009Angels & DemonsAlso producer
2011The DilemmaAlso producer
2013RushAlso producer; post-production

Producer[edit source | edit]

1980Leo and LoreeExecutive producer
1981Skyward ChristmasExecutive producer; TV movie
1983When Your Lover LeavesExecutive producer; TV movie
1984–1985Maximum SecurityExecutive producer; TV series
1985No Greater GiftExecutive producer; TV special
1985Into Thin AirExecutive producer; TV movie
1986The Lone-Star KidExecutive producer; TV movie
1987Take FiveExecutive producer; TV movie
1987No Man's LandExecutive producer
1988PoisonExecutive producer; TV movie
1988VibesExecutive Producer
1988Clean and Sober
1989The 'Burbs
1990–1991Parenthood (1990 TV series)Executive producer; TV series
1991The DoorsUncredited
1991Closet LandExecutive producer
1996The Chamber
1997Inventing the Abbotts
1998From the Earth to the MoonTV miniseries
1998–2000Sports NightExecutive producer; TV series
1998–2002FelicityExecutive producer; TV series
1999–2001The PJsExecutive producer; TV series
1999Student AffairsTV movie
1999Mullholland DriveExecutive producer; TV movie
1999Beyond the MatDocumentary
2000WonderlandTV series
2000Silicon FolliesExecutive producer; TV movie
2001The BeastExecutive producer; TV series
2003The SnobsExecutive producer; TV series
2003The BreakExecutive producer; TV movie
2005Inside Deep ThroatUncredited
2006Curious George
2006–presentCurious George (TV series)TV series
2010Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
2010–presentParenthood (2010 TV series)Executive producer; TV series
2011Cowboys & Aliens
2011When You Find MeExecutive producer; short film
2012Katy Perry: Part of MeExecutive producer
2012The Great EscapeExecutive producer; TV series
2003, 2013Arrested DevelopmentExecutive producer; TV series

Actor[edit source | edit]

Film[edit source | edit]

1956Frontier WomanBit PartUncredited
1959The JourneyBilly Rhinelander
1961Five Minutes To LiveBobby
1962The Music ManWinthrop Paroo
1963The Courtship of Eddie's FatherEddie
1965Village of the GiantsGenius
1970The Wild CountryVirgil Tanner
1970SmokeChrisTV movie
1973American GraffitiSteve Bolander
1973Happy Mother's Day, Love GeorgeJohnny
1974LocustsDonny FletcherTV movie
1974The Spikes GangLes Richter
1974The MigrantsLyle BarlowTV movie
1975Huckleberry FinnHuckleberry FinnTV movie
1976The First Nudie MusicalAuditioning actorUncredited
1976Eat My DustHoover Niebold
1976The ShootistGillom Rogers
1976I'm a FoolAndyTV movie
1977Grand Theft AutoSam Freeman
1979More American GraffitiSteve Bolander
1980Act of LoveLeon CybulkowskiTV movie
1981Bitter HarvestNed De VriesTV movie
1981Fire on the MountainLee MackieTV movie
1982Night ShiftAnnoying Sax Player/Boy Making out with GirlfriendUncredited
1983When Your Lover LeavesTV movie; uncredited; also executive producer
1986Return to MayberryOpie TaylorTV movie
1988Channel 99HimselfTV movie
1992The Magical World of Chuck JonesHimselfDocumentary
1998One VisionHimselfDocumentary
1998Welcome to HollywoodHimself
2000The IndependentHimself
2000How the Grinch Stole ChristmasWhoville TownspersonUncredited
2001Osmosis JonesTom ColonicVoice
2001A Beautiful MindMan at Governor's BallUncredited
2004Tell Them Who You AreHimselfDocumentary
2007In the Shadow of the MoonHimselfDocumentary
2011The Death and Return of SupermanMax's SonShort
2013From Up on Poppy HillAkio KazamaVoice

Television[edit source | edit]

1959Johnny RingoRicky Parrot1 episode: "The Accused"
1959Five Fingers1 episode: "Station Break"
1959The Twilight ZoneWilcox Boy1 episode: "Walking Distance"
1959The DuPont Show with June AllysonWim Wegless1 episode: "Child Lost"
1959Dennis the MenaceStewart6 episodes
1959The Many Loves of Dobie GillisDan Adams/Georgie/Little Boy with Ray Gun4 episodes
1959General Electric TheaterBarnaby Baxter/Randy2 episodes
1959Hennesey with Jackie CooperWalker"The Baby Sitter"
1960The Danny Thomas ShowOpie Taylor1 episode: "Danny Meets Andy Griffith"
1960CheyenneTimmy1 episode: "Counterfeit Gun"; uncredited
1960Pete and GladysTommy1 episode: "The Goat Story"
1960-1968The Andy Griffith ShowOpie Taylor209 episodes
1962Route 66Chet Duncan1 episode: "Poor Little Kangaroo Rat"
1962The New BreedTommy Simms1 episode: "So Dark the Night"
1963The Eleventh HourBarry Stewart1 episode: "Is Mr. Martian Coming Back?"
1964The Great AdventureDaniel Waterhouse1 episode: "Plague"
1964Dr. KildareJerry Prentice1 episode: "A Candle in the Window"
1964The FugitiveGus1 episode: "Cry Uncle"
1965The Big ValleyTommy1 episode: "Night of the Wolf"
1966Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.Opie Taylor1 episode: "Opie Joins the Marines"
1966I SpyAlan Loden1 episode: "Little Boy Lost"
1967The MonroesTimothy Prescott1 episode: "Teaching the Tiger to Purr"
1967Gentle BenJody Cutler1 episode: "Green-Eyed Bear"
1968Mayberry R.F.D.Opie Taylor1 episode: "Andy and Helen Get Married"
1968The F.B.I.Jess Orkin1 episode: "The Runaways"
1968LancerTurk Caudle/Willy2 episodes
1969Judd for the DefensePhil Beeton1 episode: "Between the Dark and the Daylight"
1969Daniel BooneLuke1 episode: "A Man Before His Time"
1969GunsmokeJamie1 episode: "Charlie Noon"
1969Land of the GiantsJodar1 episode: "Genus At Work"
1970The HeadmasterTony Landis1 episode: "Will the Real Mother of Tony Landis Please Stand Up?"
1970LassieGary1 episode: "Gary Here Comes Glory!" Part 1 & 2
1971The Smith FamilyBob Smith39 episodes
1972Love, American StyleRichard 'Richie' Cunningham1 episode: "Love and the Happy Days"
1972The Bold Ones: The New DoctorsCory Merlino1 episode: "Discovery at Fourteen"
1972BonanzaTed Hoag1 episode: "The Initiation"
1973M*A*S*HPrivate Walter/ Wendell Peterson1 episode: "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet"
1974The WaltonsSeth Turner1 episode: "The Gift"
1974Happy DaysRichard 'Richie' Cunningham171 episodes
1976Laverne & ShirleyRichie Cunningham2 episodes
1980The Fonz and the Happy Days GangRichie Cunningham (voice)1 episode: "King for a Day"
1998The SimpsonsHimself (voice)2 episodes
1999FrasierStephen (voice)1 episode: "Good Samaritan"
2003, 2013Arrested DevelopmentNarrator, Himself68 episodes; also executive producer

References[edit source | edit]

  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. ^ "Actress keeps name of her famous family". August 3, 2004. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ Gray, Beverly (2003). Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon-- and Beyond. Thomas Nelson. p. 6. ISBN 1-55853-970-0. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ Gray, Beverly (2003). Ron Howard: from Mayberry to the moon-- and beyond. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 1-55853-970-0. 
  7. ^ Estrin, Eric (Feb 22, 2010). "Ron Howard's 'Breakthrough'?: Ronald Reagan". The Wrap. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Notable Alumni". Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ Devine, Mary (1998). International Dictionary of University Histories. Taylor & Francis. p. 621. ISBN 1884964230. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ Nikki Finke (July 3, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard On Andy Griffith". Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Love and the Happy Days/Love and the Newscasters
  12. ^ "Angels & Demons IMDb credits". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  13. ^ "London Film Festival". September 24, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ Showtime & Imagine Team For Aztec Drama Directed By Ron Howard & Penned By Jose Rivera -
  15. ^ Biography for Ron Howard at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ Separated at Birth? Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard Face Off in ‘The Help’ | NextMovie
  17. ^ Jessica Chastain, 'Zero Dark Thirty' Golden Globe Winner, Finally a Star
  18. ^ Hunting For Easter Eggs In Arrested Development Season Four | Junkee
  19. ^ "Ron Howard’s Call to Action". Retrieved September 18, 2012. [dead link]
  20. ^ Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain – Blame It ft. T-Pain on YouTube

External links[edit source | edit]