Ron Howard’s Long Road From Child Actor to Award-Winning Director and All About His Family

Ron Howard is one of the few people in Hollywood who can genuinely toot their horn in honor of a long-lasting and successful career, one that began with acting and then transitioned into filmmaking. As a child actor, he appeared in several unforgettable sitcoms such as Happy Days and The Andy Griffith Show. This eventually gave him a headway in Hollywood and when he grew into his 20s, Howard successfully diversified his skills to include filmmaking.

He has gone on to direct several highly acclaimed movies and one of his most notable films is the 2001 biopic, A Beautiful Mind, which fetched him two Academy Awards. His success did not come as a surprise as he had strong support from his family who were also into the film business.

Ron Howard Was Born Into a Family of Entertainers and He Began Acting as a Toddler

Ronald William Howard’s birth to people who worked in the film industry was his golden ticket to the career he has today. His father Rance Howard was a director, writer, and actor while his mother Jean Speegle worked as an actress.

In 1956, when Howard was still a toddler of 18 months, he was cast in Frontier Woman; it was in an uncredited role but that did not deter his trajectory.

After this debut, he continued acting and was featured in a string of movies and TV series. As a budding actor, 1959 was a busy year for him with more than 7 appearances in television shows in that year. His earliest performances were in The Twilight Zone, Dennis the Menace, Hennessy, Cheyenne, The Journey, The Journey, and many others.

The Andy Griffith Show Boosted His Career as a Child Actor

In 1960, Ron Howard was cast as Opie on The Andy Griffith Show. The show revolved around a widowed sheriff of a small town named Andy Griffith, and Ron played the role of the sheriff’s precocious son. The actor would go on to appear in more than 200 episodes of the sitcom between 1960 and 1968.

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Later on, Happy Days, a sitcom that aired from 1974 till 1984, featured Ron Howard in the lead role of Richard Cunningham. This was his second major work on television, and he appeared in all 171 episodes of the show.

Howard went on to make regular appearances in other TV series such as The Smith Family and Arrested Development. He also featured in several movies including American Graffiti, The Shootist, Grand Theft Auto, The Music Man, and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

Ron Howard Made a Deal to Have His Directing Debut

On his decision to go into directing, Ron Howard has related that he had an inkling since he was a kid that he had an interest in that part. Because of this, he enrolled at the School of Cinematic Arts, the University of Southern California to study filmmaking.

He dropped out after two years into his course. However, the knowledge he gathered proved worthwhile as it contributed to the success he enjoyed in the early years of his career as a director.

With regards to how he stepped into the shoes of a director, it was gathered that when Howard was still playing Richard Cunningham on Happy Days, he had his debut as a director with the 1997 film, Grand Theft Auto.

To get the opportunity to direct this film, he made a deal with Roger Corman who co-wrote the film, the deal was that Ron Howard would play the lead role in Corman’s next film, Eat My Dust!

A Beautiful Mind Remains His Most Successful Project as a Director

Following this, Howard went on to have a successful career as a director. Rush, In the Heart of the Sea, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Solo: A Star Wars Story are some of the films that Ron Howard has worked on.

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However, his biggest work to date in that capacity is A Beautiful Mind. This is a biopic about the life of maths genius and Nobel Prize winner, John Nash, and his struggle with schizophrenia.

The movie was both a critical and commercial success and grossed $313 million on a budget of $58 million. It also received 8 Oscar nominations of which it won 4, including the Oscar for best director and best picture.

The Director’s Career Has Made Him a Wealthy Man

Ron Howard has worked as an actor for most of his life and has been part of many major television shows. The scope of the work he has done has also included directing and he has directed a good number of movies that turned out to be box office hits.

In addition to the works he has done as an actor and director, he is also the co-owner of a production company called Imagine Entertainment. Friday Night Lights and Inside Deep Throat are some of the movies they have created while Arrested Development and 24 are among the television shows they have made. These works and many others are proof of his skills as a filmmaker and they account for his estimated net worth of $200 million.

With such massive net worth, it is no surprise that Ron Howard and his wife invest heavily in real estate; owning houses in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Paris, and an estate in Greenwich, Connecticut which he sold for $27.5 million in 2014.

Ron Howard Married His High School Sweetheart

Howard is married to his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley. Cheryl is a native of California and was born on the 23rd of December 1953. She holds a B.A. in psychology from California State University, Northridge as well as an MFA in screenwriting.

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Cheryl has also authored several books, written a number of films, and has scored minor parts in many of her husband’s films

Howard and his wife started dating when they were both students at John Burroughs High School. They tied the knot on the 7th of June 1975 and have been together ever since then.

The director has since disclosed that the secret to their longevity is communication, as well as an element of luck. He always ensures that he discusses even the least of issues with Cheryl and they always find a common ground in the end. They also try to present difficult situations in very constructive ways and that has helped them to keep their bond strong over the years.

Some of His Children Are Also Actors

The couple has four children, their first child Bryce Dallas was born in 1981, the twins, Paige and Jocelyn followed in 1985 while the youngest of the siblings and their only son Reed Cross Howard was born in 1987.

Since Ron hails from a family of people who worked in the film industry, two of his children, Bryce and Paige have continued the family tradition. Bryce has appeared in movies such as Jurassic World, The Help, Spider-Man 3, The Village, Lady in the Water, and As You Like It, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a TV movie or Miniseries.

Paige has not had a very successful career like her sister. However, she has appeared in several movies and TV series including Arrested Development, Medium, 90210, Adventureland, and The Employer.

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