RON HOWARD Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Ronald William Howard                                                               
Born: 1 March 1954 Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.                                                 
Ronald William Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an Award-winning American actor             
and Academy Award-winning film director and producer, known for his roles on             
sitcoms, movies and television. The naturally red-headed Howard came to                   
prominence in the 1960s as Andy Griffith's son, Opie Taylor, on The Andy                 
Griffith Show, and later in the 1970s as Tom Bosley's son and Henry Winkler's             
best friend, Richie Cunningham, on Happy Days (a role he played from 1974 to             
Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Jean Speegle Howard, an actress,         
and Rance Howard, a director, writer, and actor. His younger brother, Clint               
Howard, is a well-known character actor. Howard attended the University of               
Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts but did not graduate.                     
Howard first earned recognition for playing Winthrop Paroo, the child with the           
lisp in the film version of The Music Man with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.         
After The Music Man, he appeared in the role of Opie Taylor in the television             
series The Andy Griffith Show, which was the successful spin-off of The Danny             
Thomas Show. There he portrayed the son of the local sheriff in the fictional             
town of Mayberry, North Carolina. For eight seasons, he also created a loving             
relationship with Andy Griffith, on-screen, and spent a lot of time with him,             
off-screen, when not filming. The credits referred to him as "Ronny Howard." He           
also appeared in the 1963 film The Courtship of Eddie's Father with Glenn Ford           
and (billed as "Ronnie Howard") in Little Boy Lost, a 1966 episode of the TV             
show I Spy with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.                                               
Howard made a notable guest-star appearance on the popular television series M*A*S*H     
during that show's first season as an underage American serving in the Marines           
during the Korean War.                                                                   
Howard is also well known for his role as Richie Cunningham in television's               
Happy Days on which, beginning in 1974, he played the likable "buttoned down"             
boy, in contrast to Henry Winkler's Fonz. He attained film success with his role         
as Steve Bollander in George Lucas' teen movie American Graffiti. In 1977, while         
still starring on Happy Days, he directed his first film, a low-budget comedy/action     
film called Grand Theft Auto.                                                             
His last significant on-screen role was when he reprised his famous role as Opie         
Taylor in the 1986 TV reunion movie Return to Mayberry reuniting him with Andy           
Griffith, Don Knotts, and most of the old cast.                                           
Before leaving Happy Days in 1980, Howard made his directing debut with the 1977         
project "Grand Theft Auto" (after cutting a deal with Roger Corman to star in             
the forgettable "Eat My Dust" with Christopher Norris). Howard went on to direct         
several TV movies. His big theatrical break came in 1982 with Night Shift                 
featuring soon-to-be stars such as Michael Keaton and Shelley Long, as well as           
reuniting Howard with "Happy Days" co-star Henry Winkler.                                 
He has since directed a number of high-visibility films, the most acclaimed of           
which include "Splash", "Willow", "Cocoon", "Apollo 13" (nominated for several           
Academy Awards), "A Beautiful Mind" (for which he won the Oscar for "Best                 
Director"), and Cinderella Man. His latest film, "The Da Vinci Code" has been a           
box office hit earning more than $700 million at the box office, but a critical           
Howard casts his younger brother Clint in a minor role in most of his movies.