“One of the great things about being a director as a life choice is that it can never be mastered. Every story is its own kind of expedition, with its own set of challenges.”– Ron Howard
Ronald William Howard was born on this day in Duncan, Oklahoma, USA in 1954. He is 59 years old.
He was born into a theater family. His mother was an actress, and his father both acted and directed. He was in his first film at 18 months and on stage at 2. He appeared on television frequently as a child and had reoccurring gigs on CBS’s Playhouse 90, Dennis the Menace, and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis before landing the roll of Opie Taylor in the Andy Griffith Show.
He played Opie from 1960 to 1968. The show ran for 268 episodes and was ranked as the #9 best show in American Television History by TV Guide.
Howard kept busy while the show was in summer hiatus with family films like The Music Man and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.
In the early 70’s the worked on The Smith Family, a sitcom about a police detective and his family starring Henry Fonda. (It lasted two seasons) In 1973 he starred in George Lucas’ American Graffitti. Then hit with another sitcom as the star of Happy Days.
His second act came as a producer / director / producer. He’d been behind the camera before Happy Days was a wrap, but it was Night Shift with Michael Keaton, Shelly Long, and Happy Days alum Henry Winkler that made his as a Director. Other comedies include Splash, Gung Ho, Cocoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Dilemma.
Dramas and Dramedies include: Parenthood, Backdraft, Far and Away, The Paper, Apollo 13, Ransom, A Beautiful Mind,The Missing, Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code, Frost / Nixon and Angels & Demons. He won an Academy award for A Beautiful Mind, and the Directors Guild of America Award for A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13.
Next up is a biopic about formula one race car drivers in RUSH due out in September of this year.