- Category : Film - Director
- Type : PE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Migration 1
American child actor and adult film director, writer and producer. Howard was named Best Director by the Director’s Guild of America for his work on Apollo 13. It has grossed over $335,000,000 worldwide and was nominated for nine Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards; winning two Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Additionally, Apollo 13 was chosen Favorite Motion Picture and Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture by the People’s Choice Awards, Best Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Awards and Best Cast and Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris) by the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
From an acting family in the traditional sense, his dad Rance, an actor, director and writer, always knew his son Ron would be an actor as well. Ron's mom, Jean, an actress, said he was born with a four-leaf clover behind his ear. His younger brother Clint has appeared with him in front of and behind the camera. Howard's first time on film was at the age of 18 months, but his part in "Frontier Woman" in 1956 was not credited. He was age two when his dad directed a summer stock production of "The Seven Year Itch" at the Hilltop Theater in Baltimore and he began to mimic the actors. Playing the game with his dad was fun for the Norman Rockwell-looking blue eyed, freckled, red headed kid. Acting in earnest started with TV's "Playhouse 90" and "General Electric Theater" when he was five. His dad always prepared him and he never blew his lines.
A down to earth person from a very stable family background, Howard went to public school and was always given the opportunity to turn down work if he was not enjoying it. His life more normal than most Hollywood kids as his parents had a clause put into his contracts that he did not have to do publicity tours. The "Andy Griffith Show" debuted on 10/3/1960 with little Ronnie Howard as the adorable, popular tyke, Opie Taylor. During the first year of filming when he got cranky during a scene, his dad picked him up, spanked him and told him people were trying to work and he needed to be responsible. Later Ron learned that the relationship on the show between Griffith and him was based on his own relationship with his dad. He still winces when someone shouts, "Hey, Opie."
In 1962 he played the younger brother of Marion the librarian in the movie "The Music Man." He noted in 1966 that his two heroes, pitchers Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax of the LA Dodgers, held out for contracts worth $100,000 each and he was also going to make that much the same year. In 1973, Howard became a bona fide star with the success of the movie "American Graffiti."
Ron's next important role was the affable Richie Cunningham on ABC's "Happy Days" which debuted 1/15/1974. Within the first month they had a 30% viewing share. During the 1975-'76 season Henry Winkler as Arthur Fonzarelli took the spotlight. Howard and Winkler were not competitive, both worked for the good of the show and they remain friends today. The title role in "Huckleberry Finn" on 5/25/1975 allowed Howard to work with his entire family.
He attended John Burroughs High School in Burbank, CA and took off work for nine months one year when he made the "B" basketball team. This allowed him to go on road games with them. He graduated in 1972. Howard then enrolled in the University of Southern California's cinema arts department but quit as he thought he could learn more from actual experience.
Howard's behind the camera work started when he was 15. He won a national Kodak Film Contest with a Super 8mm film he had shot. In 1976 he made "Eat My Dust" for Roger Corman in exchange for the chance to become one of the youngest directors in Hollywood history. At 24, Howard surprised everyone when he made "Grand Theft Auto" in 1977, completing the film in four weeks on a budget of $602,000. The film made $15 million. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Supporting role in 1977 for "The Shootist," starring John Wayne. Howard stopped acting when he started losing his hair at age 26. Now he is seldom seen without a hat.
He regards what he does simply as a job, not a craft or art. He has made several films that have been nominated for various awards and they have taken him onto the second tier of powerful directors alongside Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis and Francis Ford Coppola. His films have been very popular and high grossing. He has always retained his squeaky clean, wholesome image and feels that life has been very good to him. Smart, funny, introspective and ambitious, he is a non-threatening person when he is in control, and a fine collaborator with no ego problems. With a down to earth attitude and extraordinary stability, he never takes success for granted and has a good working relationship with others. In a competitive business he knows you sometimes have to be tough, you can't be thin-skinned or a wimp, and sometime you have to hurt people's feelings. He doesn't see himself as a religious person, but he does believe in a power or a God pulling strings behind the scenes. He likes codes of conduct, rules and philosophy. Ron Howard Productions on the 20th Century Fox lot holds his sparsely furnished office that is half as large as the reception area. One of his favorite toys, a full size video game, is there to help release tension.
After his "Apollo 13" was so successful in 1996, he shared an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries in 1998 for "From the Earth to the Moon."
Married life seems to agree with Howard as he and his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley, were wed on 6/07/1975 and remain in a loving relationship. Cheryl has appeared in most of her husband’s films in non-speaking roles. They moved from the San Fernando Valley in California, where they had lived all their lives, to Connecticut with their four children, Bryce Dallas born in 1981, twin girls Paige Carlyle and Jocelyn Carlyle in 1985 and son Reed in 1987, all redheaded. They also keep a house in California. The family love to go on car trips and watch movies together twice a week.
In 2001, Howard outdid himself with the winning film, "A Beautiful Mind." It told the story of mathematician John Forbes Nash (born 6/13/1928, Bluefield, WV), portrayed by New Zealand actor Russell Crowe (born 4/07/1964). Ron claims that he is a "recovering workaholic" who is now trying to give himself more downtime.
On 3/25/2002, he was awarded the Oscar for directing the film "A Beautiful Mind," a picture that won the award for best picture of the year.