Academy award winning director, Ronald William Howard is a venerated American television and film actor. He is known worldwide for his early performances in the hit American sitcoms, ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and ‘Happy Days’. When he was eighteen months old he made his first appearance in a movie, since then he has never failed to impress his audience over more than five decades. Coming from a theatrical family, he didn’t require much training to hone his acting skills since both his parents were actors. He made several appearances in hit movies such as ‘The Courtship of Eddie’s Father’, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Shootist’. Following his father’s footsteps, Ron soon sought a more prominent role behind the camera as a director and producer. Some of his most astute skills as a director were seen in the Hollywood films ‘Apollo 13’, ‘Cocoon’, ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the controversial blockbuster ‘The Da Vinci Code’. In 2013, he was inducted into the prestigious ‘Television Hall of Fame’ and is also placed on the legendary ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’.
- Ron Howard was born Ronald William Howard on 1st March, 1954 at Duncan in Oklahoma. His mother, Jean Speegle Howard was an actress and his father, Rance Howard was a writer, actor and director.In 1958, he moved with his parents to Hollywood and a year later his younger brother, Clint Howard was born. After three years the Howards settled in Burbank.As a child, he received tutoring at ‘Desilu Studios’ now known as ‘The Culver Studios’ and attended ‘John Burroughs High School’.After high school, he enrolled at the ‘University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts’, but couldn’t complete his education owing to a flourishing career.Child Actor
- When Ron was eighteen months old he made his first appearance in the movie ‘Frontier Woman’ in 1956. By the age of two he was cast in his first stage debut in a play called ‘The Seven Year Itch’.However, his film debut on records is the 1959 film ‘The Journey’. With his earnest performance he managed to bag a spot in the first season of the sitcom ‘Dennis the Menace’ as Stewart and also claimed a role in the show ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’.Around the same time he was cast in ‘Playhouse 90’. His performance grabbed the attention of Sheldon Leonard, producer of the ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and was signed for the role of the lead character’s son, Ronny Griffith.In 1962, he was cast in the film ‘The Music Man’ and the following year he acted in ‘The Courtship of Eddie’s Father’. From 1965 to 1969, he starred in several guest roles in ‘I Spy’, ‘The Smith Family’ and ‘Daniel Boone’.Howard worked closely with Disney in his teens. He was signed for the leading part of Mike in the Disneyland record album ‘The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion’ which was narrated by Thurl Ravenscroft.An Established Actor
- In 1973, he was cast in George Luca’s blockbuster film ‘American Graffiti’. In the movie he played the main role of Steve Bolander alongside Richard Dreyfus.The next year, he was signed for the lead role of Richie Cunningham in the ABC sitcom ‘Happy Days’ from the first to the seventh season and also starred in the movie ‘The Shootist’ alongside John Wayne.In 1986, he made his final appearance as an actor in the television movie ‘Return to Mayberry’. He even attended ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ reunion and ‘The Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion’.An Esteemed Director
- In the midst of his acting career, he found his true ambition as a director. Thus, Howard left ‘Happy Days’ to concentrate on his directing career.He made his debut with a low budget film titled ‘Grand theft Auto’. But his notable break as director came with the direction of the play ‘Night Shift’ in 1982.In 1984, he directed the romantic comedy ‘Splash’. The film was a blockbuster which grossed millions of dollars and was ranked as the best movie of the year. With the overwhelming success, Ron Howard became a successful director overnight.Thereafter he directed films such as ‘Cocoon’, ‘Backdraft’ and the documentary space drama ‘Apollo 13’, which were critically applauded.However, his most proficient work was in the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’, which he co-produced. The movie grossed over 313 million dollars at the box office.In 2006, he directed the mystery thriller based on Dan Brown’s novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ starring Tom Hanks. Even though the film faced a lot of opposition, especially from the Roman Catholic Church, it still managed to become a success at the box office.Owing to his success as a director he, along with Brian Grazer, launched a television and film production company called ‘Imagine Entertainment’.Some of his more recent works include the 2015 adventure film ‘In the heart of the Sea’ and the 2016 film ‘Inferno’, a sequel of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Angels & Demons’.Major Works
- Ron Howard’s successful early television career helped boost his skills as both an actor and director. ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ received a positive reception, while ‘Happy Days’ was ranked number one in 1976.The 1984 film ‘Splash’ was his first mega hit as a director, and earned a 92% rating on ‘Rotten Tomatoes’. The 1985 film ‘Cocoon’ urged ‘The New York Times’ to state that Howard provided a “bright, expansive look of a hot-weather hit” adding to the movie a “reasonably steady” touch.‘Apollo 13’ grossed a box office sum of over 355 million dollars. The movie starring Tom Hanks received a grand reception with a 95% on ‘Rotten Tomatoes’.His biographical film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ based on true love and mental illness was critically appraised. ‘The Guardian’ mentioned that Howard pulled off “an extraordinary trick” in the movie by drawing the audience into Nash’s paranoid world.Awards & Achievements
- In 2001, Howard won the award for ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’ at the highly prestigious ‘Academy Award’ for his movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’. He also won the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Picture’ the same year.Personal Life & Legacy
- On 7th June, 1975 he married Cheryl Alley, a writer. They presently reside in South Carolina at the ‘Sea Pines Resort’. The couple have four children and all their children have been named after the place they were conceived.His first born was a girl and he named her Bryce Dallas as she was conceived in Dallas. His second born were twins named Jocelyn Carlyle and Paige Carlyle, conceived at Hotel Carlyle. His fourth child was named Reed Cross, after a specific road.Trivia
- He is an ardent cricket fan and attended the test match between Australia and England during the filming of ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
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