Happy birthday Ron Howard!

"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 (March 1, 1954) is an American film and television actor, director, and producer who appeared in his first movie when he was just 18 months old. As a child actor, he appeared regularly on Playhouse 90 on CBS, where he caught the eye of Sheldon Leonard, producer of The Andy Griffith Show. In addition to his roles as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, Howard is known for directing and producing films like Grand Theft Auto (1977), Apollo 13 (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2002), The Da Vinci Code (2006), and many others. Howard was the voice of the narrator of Arrested Development, and served as the executive producer of the show.


Ron Howard as Opie

In 1960, at the age of six, Howard appeared as Andy Griffith's son, Opie on The Andy Griffith Show. The role was immensely popular and Howard became a highly respected child actor and would appear on several other programs, including The Twilight Zone and Dennis the Menace. During this time, he continued to attend public school and developed an interest in filmmaking. Howard and Andy Griffith developed a deep friendship during this time and would continue to keep in touch until Griffith's death in July 2012.


A publicity still of Andy Griffith and Ron Howard for The Andy Griffith Show, reminding viewers to drive carefully, as children were back in school.

Opie and the Spoiled Kid 

Opie throws a tantrum for vanilla Jello pudding


Andy Griffith and Ron Howard recall working together


After The Andy Griffith Show ended in 1968, Howard was cast opposite Henry Fonda in The Smith Family. Soon after enrolling at The University of Southern California's film school, he was cast in American Graffiti (1973), which was very well received and led to the show Happy Days. Howard starred in the show as Richie Cunningham.

Richie Cunningham versus "teeny weeny glasses of beer"

Around this time, Howard made a deal with producer Roger Corman that if Howard starred in his film Eat My Dust (1976), Corman would help Howard direct his first major film. This collaboration turned into Grand Theft Auto (1977), which inspired Howard to form Major H Productions. Howard and fellow producer Brian Grazer eventually founded Imagine Films Entertainment in 1986, which has been responsible for films like Willow (1988), Parenthood (1989), and Ransom (1996).

Parenthood trailer

Howard has also worked extensively in television production. In 1998, Imagine Entertainment produced Felicity, which was critically acclaimed. The show's success led to the 2001 drama 24, and then Arrested Development. Howard was nominated for an Oscar for his direction of Frost/Nixon in 2008.

Ron Howard talks about Arrested Development

Final trailer for the Arrested Development documentary 


In 1975, Howard married his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley. Their eldest child, Bryce Dallas Howard is an actress and made her acting debut in Parenthood (1989) and has appeared in films like The Help (2011) and 50/50 (2011). In 2006, Ron Howard said in an interview with Vanity Fair that his greatest achievement was "Forty-eight consecutive years of steady employment in television and film, while preserving a rich family life."

Ron Howard on The Merv Griffin Show



Howard is frequently mentioned in pop culture, and has been depicted twice on The Simpsons. Eddie Murphy referred to Howard as "Opie Cunningham" when Murphy hosted an episode of SNL. Howard appeared as himself in the series finale for Arrested Development, during which he referred to himself as a "Hollywood icon". In 2008, Howard appeared in a video for Funny or Die, in which he endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency, and reprised his roles as Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham.

Young Ron Howard on Kids Are People Too

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 01 March 2014
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