|Ron Howard, or Ronny Howard as he was originally billed, has been in show business for much of his life. Ron was born on March 1st, 1954, in Duncan, Oklahoma to actors Rance and Jean Howard. Rance Howard was sometimes seen in a small role on The Waltons.
Ron only appeared once on The Waltons in a much loved episodes by Waltons fans called "The Gift". He played Seth Turner, the young musical friend of Jason, who was discovered to have leukemia and was only given a short time to live.
Young Ronny Howard began his acting career at the age of only two, when he appeared in a stage production of The Seven Year Itch. His screen debut was in 1959 in The Journey. He continued to make movies, and soon won roles in The Music Man and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
He then went on to join the cast of The Andy Griffith Show as young Opie, the son of Andy Griffith's character. Other of Ron's early television appearances was during the 1960's were on television programs such as The Fugitive, The Big Valley, The Twilight Zone, and Daniel Boone. During his time on The Andy Griffith Show he also made several movies, including Village of the Giants.
After the series ended, he continued to work, and in 1971 he was cast in another television show called The Smith Family, where he worked alongside Henry Fonda. This series only ran for the one season. He continued to work though, and appeared in American Graffetti and had several other television and film appearances.
It was a small segment he made in 1969 though, which led him to his next hit series on television. In 1969, he had appeared in a small segment of Love, American Style playing Richie Cunningham in the mini episode called "Love and the Happy Day". Because there was so much interest in the 1950's during the seventies, it was decided to develop "Love and the Happy Day" and create a series, which became Happy Days. Howard reprised his role as Richie Cunningham and stayed with the series from 1974 to 1980. During this time, he continued to make further film and television appearances.
It was during his time with Happy Days that he decided the time was right to pursue his ambition of directing. He wrote and/or directed several films including Grand Theft Auto and, after leaving Happy Days, he directed Bette Davis in Skyward. His first big directing hit though, was in 1982 with Nightshift which starred his Happy Days co star, Henry Winkler. This was followed by two immensely popular movies, Splash and Cocoon. He seemed to hit a bit of a slump towards the late 80's and early 90's, but by 1995 he was back on track again with Apollo 13, which was nominated for 9 Oscars, and won several other awards including a well deserved award for directing for Howard.
Ron Howard has also produced several television series including Parenthood, based on his 1988 film of the same name, Far and Away and Hiller and Diller.
Howard is certainly a very talented man. He is married to Cheryl, and together they have four children.