Actor Ron Howard made his screen debut at the age of just four and soon became a much loved face. Thanks to his charm and talent, he stole the hearts of many and became a fun favorite child actor. Playing the role of little Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show opened the doors to the world of showbiz for Howard and we are happy he hasn’t left Hollywood ever since. Howard had already had a successful career when he landed the role of Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, and was given a prominent part in the coming-of-age film American Graffiti. However, after these successful movies, he realized his place was behind the camera.
Today, Howard is a prominent director, producer, and screenwriter with numerous awards under his belt.
He is the recipient of two Academy Awards, for A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, four Emmys, a Grammy,and two Golden Globes among the rest. Howard has been nominated for seven BAFTA Awards and received the National Medal of Arts in 2001. His contribution to the television and motion picture industries has been rewarded with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He and his brother Clint, a successful actor, were brought up by parents Rance Howard and Jean Speegle, who were entertainers themselves.
The brothers followed into their parents’ footsteps and say it was them who had much influence on their choice of career.
Speaking of their childhood in the book The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, Ron and Clint recalled how their parents kept them grounded, and despite having plenty of money, the family never really led lavish lives. Instead, they were taught to live by strong moral values where the material things weren’t that important. Growing up in Hollywood wasn’t easy, but Rance Howard was always there to protect his sons. He knew that being a child star could come with a price so he made sure his boys were not changed by the fame they experienced with The Andy Griffith Show and looked after their mental health.
Rance and Jean met when they both got hired by a children’s theater touring company. During a tour in Kentucky, they decided to marry. After a year, they left the theater company and focused on their family and raising their children.
Once the boys were welcomed into the world, Jean continued with her acting career, but she then decided to quit in order to be able to take care of her sons.
Some thirty years into retirement, Jean felt the urge to act again. Her comeback was described by her son Ron Howard as the “new old woman on the comedy block.”
As he was setting to direct Apollo 13, which became a massive hit, earning 29 awards, two of which were Academy Awards, Ron’s father asked him to cast his mother in the film.
Ron agreed and auditioned his mother at her home instead at the studio. The moment she started acting was one of the most emotional in Ron’s life.
He was proud of his mother’s acting skills and was glad she could return to her acting career after almost 30 years.
Jean Howard passed away in 2000, at the age of 73, due to heart and respiratory problems. Rance Howard passed away in 2017 at the age of 89.
The brothers had a hard time coping with their parents’ loss so they decided to commemorate their mother and father’s memories with their book “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family,” something that helped them accept the reality.
Ron and Clint are both very good people who live normal lives, just like their parents’ taught them.
Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons. Today he passed at 89. He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 25, 2017
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