30 Fascinating Facts We Bet You Never Knew About Ron Howard


Ron Howard, best known for playing two high-profile roles in television sitcoms, later gained worldwide recognition by directing a number of successful feature films. Here are some very interesting facts about the American filmmaker and actor:

  1.  Howard is an American actor, and an Academy Award winning film director, and producer, known for his roles on sitcoms, movies and television.
  2.  He was born Ronald William Howard on March 01, 1954, in Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S. He is the elder son of Rance Howard, a director, writer, and an actor and Jean Speegle Howard, an actress. He has younger brother Clint Howard.
  3.  Though his family surname is ‘Beckenholdt,’ his father adapted the stage name ‘Howard’ in 1948 for his acting career. He is of German, English, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch ancestry.
  4.  Howard attended Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary and David Star Jordan Junior High School before graduating from John Burroughs High School. He later went to University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, but dropped out as he was cast in a TV series ‘Happy Days.’
  5.  He enjoyed his parents’ theatrical endeavors at the Desilu Studios, where he was tutored all along. He liked hanging around rehearsals, and soaking up the actor’s dialogue. In 1958, almost four years old, Howard was interviewed for film ‘The Journey’ and the Billy Rhinelander character was his with a ticket to Vienna for shooting.
  6.  Howard appeared in the episode ‘Child Lost’ of CBS anthology series ‘The DuPont Show with June Allyson,’ in the ‘The Twilight Zone,’ episode ‘Walking Distance.’ He was also part of sitcom ‘Dennis the Menace,’ several episodes of ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,’ as Timmy in ‘Counterfeit Gun,’ and in ‘The Cheyenne Show.’
  7.  Howard’s first screen appearance came at the ripe old age of eighteen months. At one point during the filming of ‘Frontier Woman’ they need a crying baby, he was spotted in his mother’s arms watching from the sidelines and was selected. He doesn’t count this as his professional debut, for he didn’t get paid. In fact, Howard’s little poop-poop was on the very first Pampers commercials, that’s how far back his career goes.
  8.  In 1960 he was cast as Opie Taylor in the situation comedy CBS television series ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’ He was portrayed the son of title character for all eight seasons. In the 1962 film version of ‘The Music Man,’ he played Winthrop Paroo, and the title role in 1975 film ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ Both roles were previously played by Eddie Hodges.
  9.  As an actor, he was highly influenced by Andy Grififth and credits him as his favorite acting mentor and best friend. With the death of Andy Griffith on July 03, 2012, Howard is the only original and youngest surviving cast member of the 1060 ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’
  10.  He appeared in the episode ‘Is Mr. Martian Coming Back,’ of the NBC medical drama ‘The Eleventh Hour’ in 1965, on ‘I Spy,’ in the episode ‘Little Boy Lost,’ in 1966, in an ABC series ‘The Smith Family,’ as Jodah in ‘Land of the Giants,’ and as an underage Marine on ‘M.A.S.H’ in the episode ‘Sometimes You Hear the Bullet’ in 1973.
  11.  In 1973, he played Steve Bolander in George Lucas’s ‘American Graffiti,’ was the inspiration apart from his stint in the ‘Love American Style,’ to his being cast as Richie Cunningham in the TV series ‘Happy Days,’ in the beginning of 1974. This was to be the first Howard role in which sexual stirrings play a part.
  12.  The cast name ‘Opie’ of The Andy Griffith Show, has struck with Howard to this day. He was teased ‘soapy’ and ‘dopey,’ in school playground and later in his teen years he was called ‘Opium.’ On October 09, 1982, Eddie Murphy compounded the problem in the ‘Saturday Night Live’ when he addressed Howard, the show’s guest host, as ‘Opie Cunningham.’
  13.  Howard made his directing debut with the 1977 low budget comedy action film ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ and went on to direct several TV movies. His big break came with the 1982 ‘Night Shift,’ with his Henry Winkler of Happy Days.
  14.  Howard has since directed critically acclaimed dramas ‘A Beautiful Mind’ in 2001, ‘Apollo 13,’ in 1995, to the hit comedies ‘Parenthood’ in 1989, and ‘Splash,’ in 1984.
  15.  His skill as a director has long been recognized when he received his first Best Director of the Year’ award from DGA for ‘Apollo 13’ in 1995. The true life dram garnered nine Academy Award nominations, winning the Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.This is Howard’s favorite of his own film.
  16.  Howard and long time producing partner Brian Grazer first collaborated on the hit comedies ‘Night Shift’ and ‘Splash.’ The pair co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 to create independently produced feature films including ‘Friday Night,’ ‘Lights,’ ‘8 Mile,’ and ‘Inside Deep Throat,’ as well as the television series ’24,’ ‘Felicity,’ and ‘Arrested Development,’ which Howard also narrated.
  17.  In 1991, Howard created the acclaimed drama ‘Backdraft’ starring Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell, and William Baldwin. It is about Chicago firefighters and to draw audience into the intensity of a real fire, a cameraman with fireproof suit wandered through the flames. The film grossed $152.4 million in the box-office and Howard donated some proceed from the film to his local fire department.
  18.  The 1996 he directed ‘Ransom’ a powerful crime drama and the film stars Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise and Rene Russo is based on an episode of 1953 ‘The United States Steel Hour: Fearful Decision.’
  19.  He produced and directed 2005 sports drama film ‘Cinderella Man,’ starring Russell Crowe. The film is titled after the nickname of world boxing champion James Braddock and inspired by his life story. Howard attended the fight in which Braddock won the heavyweight title with his father and incidentally his father Rance Howard is portrayed as the ring announcer in the film.
  20.  Howard married writer Cheryl Alley on June 07, 1975. They have four children. All of his four children are named after the places they were conceived: Bryce Dallas Howard in Dallas, Paige Carlyle and Jocelyn Carlyle at the Hotel Carlyle in New York City, and Reed Cross after a specific road.
  21.  He is apparently a huge fan of cricket and attended the final Ashes test match between England and Australia on September 12, 2005, while filming ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ He was spotted mingling with players in the Australian dressing room.
  22.  His film ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ in 2015 is based on the true story of the Essex, a whaling ship attacked and sunk by sperm whale. The film inspired Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dic,’ novel and is the sixth film directed by Howard based on true story.
  23.  Howard is better known for his adaptation of Dan brown’s bestselling novels Angels& Demons and The Da Vinci Code. For the film Angels & Demons, his crew members visited Vatican City as tourist and extensively photographed the city to recreate the sets, knowing well permission to shoot the film will be denied.
  24.  The 2006 mystery thriller film ‘The Da Vinci Code’ starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou and Jean Reno, created much controversy and its initial release was stalled in India, before court overruling. Howard received an invitation from French President Jacques Chirac when he suggested Jean Reno should have a pay raise and that his daughter’s best friend, an actress, should be cast as Sophie Neveu.
  25.  When he was child actor, his father was very involved in his career, protecting him from unfair treatment and being strict with him. Howard has directed two films on the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ and ‘Apollo 13.’ He was awarded the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts in 2003.
  26.  He frequently casts his father and brother in supporting roles. He has directed his wife Cheryl Howard in eleven films, his father Rance Howard in fifteen films and his brother Clint Howard in sixteen films.
  27.  Howard was honored by the Chicago Film Festival with their Gold Hugo-Career Achievement Award, in June 2010. He was awarded two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6931 Hollywood BLvd, and for Television at 6838 Hollywood Blvd, making him one of the very few to have with two stars.
  28.  He has directed eight different actors in Oscar nominated performances, Don Ameche, Dianne Wiest, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Giamatti and Frank Langella. Ameche and Connelly won Oscars for their performances in one of his movies.
  29.  Howard teaches directing, editing and storytelling in 32 exclusive video lessons in his first ever online classes.
  30.  Two of Howard’s children have also followed in their father’s footsteps. Bryce Dallas Howard has displayed her acting talents in The Village, As You Like It and Jurassic World. Bryce’s younger sister Paige is notable for her performances in Adventureland and The Employer.
  31.  Ron Howard Net Worth: $160 Millions

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