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General information  

  • Real name : Ronald William Howard
  • Place of birth : Oklahoma
  • Date of birth : 01/03/1954

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  • Ronny Howard
  • Howard Ron

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Ron Howard (1954)

Ronald William Howard

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  Summary  

Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American film director, producer and former child 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. He appeared in the films 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, and A Beautiful Mind. In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Asteroid 12561 Howard is named after him.

  Biography  

 early life
Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Jean Speegle Howard, an actress, and Rance Howard, a director, writer and actor, who was serving three years in the United States Air Force at the time. 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.

 career
  Early acting roles and The Andy Griffith Show
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" in "Counterfeit Gun", Season 5, Episode 2 of the TV series, "The Cheyenne Show".

In 1960, Howard was cast as Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show, a spin-off of The Danny Thomas Show. Credited as "Ronny Howard", he portrayed the son of the title character for all eight seasons of the show. Howard also spent a lot of time with Griffith off-screen.

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; 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 and Karen , 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

Howard played Steve Bolander in George Lucas's coming-of-age film American Graffiti in 1973. 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.

A role in an installment of series Love, American Style, titled "Love in The Happy Days", led to him 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" Fonzarelli. On the Happy Days set, he developed an on- and off-screen chemistry with series leads Winkler and Tom Bosley, as they each developed their own private lives. The three remained friends until Bosley's death in 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." 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.

  Directing
Before leaving Happy Days in 1980, Howard made his directing debut with the 1977 low-budget comedy/action film Grand Theft Auto. 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. Howard went on to direct several TV movies. His big theatrical break came in 1982, with Night Shift, featuring Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, and Henry Winkler.

He has since directed a number of high-visibility films, including Splash , Cocoon , Willow , Parenthood , Backdraft, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind , Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code, and Angels & Demons.

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.

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

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 major film and television production company. Imagine has produced several films including Friday Night Lights, 8 Mile, and Inside Deep Throat, and the television series 24, Felicity and Arrested Development. Howard also narrated Arrested Development.

 personal life
On June 7, 1975, Howard wed his high-school sweetheart, Cheryl (née Alley), a writer with a degree in geriatric psychology. They have four children: daughters Bryce Dallas Howard , Jocelyn Carlyle Howard and Paige Carlyle Howard ; and son Reed Cross Howard . His daughters' middle names indicate where they were conceived, Bryce in Dallas, Texas, and twins Jocelyn and Paige at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. Son Reed Cross was named after a London street because "Volvo isn't a very good middle name", according to Howard. Daughters Bryce and Paige are actresses. The family lives on a estate in the gated community of Conyers Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut. In February 2007, Howard became a grandfather when his daughter, Bryce, gave birth to a son, Theodore Norman Howard Gabel.

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."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Ron Howard", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.