Ronald William Howard was born March 1st, 1954 in Duncan, Oklahoma. He is the older of two brothers. His parents, Rance Howard his father was an actor, director and writer, his mother Jean Howard was an actress, in 1959 his family relocated to Hollywood. Young Ron quickly joined the family business and his first television role was on an episode of “Playhouse 90” and was followed by an appearance on “The Red Skelton Show.” He also was in four episodes of “Denis the Menace” and five shows of “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” (Encarta)
Ron has the face that refused to age. No matter how much of his hair he looses, or how much of a beard he grows, he continues to have a boyish charm. For some viewers he is always remembered as Opie Taylor and to others as Richie Cunningham, while the more populated group of the confused he is know as Opie Cunningham. (sitcomsonline)
The television producer Sheldon Leonard, who had seen Howard’s performance in Barnaby and Mr. O’Mally, cast the actor in the “Andy Griffith Show” which began its eight years on CBS on October 3, 1960. The gentle and subtle comedy of the show was set in the sleepy town of Mayberry, North Carolina, and was centered on the daily lives of sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith), his young son, Opie (Howard), Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), who was the live in housekeeper and Opei’s surrogate mother, and Barney Fife (Don Knotts), Andy’s deputy. The scenes between Andy and Opie were sensitively written by Ron’s father with similarities of their relationship, some of Opeis lines were also written by his father.
Howard’s parents intervened in certain ways in his life since he was a child star like making sure certain aspects of contracts said didn’t say that he had to do promotional tours. When he was not working he was enrolled in public schools so he could interact with other kids his age. “In school I was a novelty at first,” Howard told Edwin Miller. “People got very jazzed up about the idea of having a kid actor in class. That would blow over in a couple of weeks, and then I was able to blend right in.” Howard later made the basketball team at Burroughs High School in Burbank; Howard then had to turn down acting assignments so he wouldn’t miss any basketball games. “I didn’t work for nine months,” he recalled,” and that’s when I learned I missed acting.”
Howard later contributed further to the trend of 1950’s nostalgia with his role in Happy Days, a 1972 installment of a weekly comedy on ABC. Happy Days was set in Milwaukee during the 1950’s and mainly focused on the misadventures of the clean-cut Richie Cunningham (Howard). Most of the episodes showed Richie at home with his family or plotting schemes with his high school pals at the local hamburger shop, where the jukebox played rock-and-roll songs of this period. The show struggled in popularity for a while but was said to eventually thrive because of the “skill of the oldest young professional performer in television, Ron Howard.” Instead the show increased its popularity by focusing on one of the supporting actors, the auto mechanic and high school dropout named Arthur Fonzarelli (Henry Wrinler), mostly know as Fonzie or the Fonz. The leather jacketed tough guy ladies man was Richies mentor and definition of “cool.” By the start of the 1975-76 season, Wrinkler had became the star of Happy Days in everything but name, and his character had become the biggest popular-culture icon in the 1970’s.
Howard’s first project as a director was based on a screenplay he co wrote with his father called Grand Theft Auto (1977), in this he also played lead. The movie proved worth wile in many ways. It was a good experience for Howard and it was filmed in 22 days and cost only $602,000, it grossed some fifteen million dollars and opened the doors for Howard to direct three television shows: Cotton Candy (1978); Through the Magic Pyramid (1981) and Skyward (1981), which featured Bette Davis.
Some others of Howard’s films include Backdrafr, The Paper, and Far and Away. Though his best film yet has been Apollo 13, which is a drama about the jeopardized 1970 American space mission, which stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton and featured the filmmakers mother and brother.
I personally think that Ron Howard is a great famous person to do my report over because he is an extraordinary actor and a great film director. My favorite role of all of his has to be Richie Cunningham on Happy Days because I love the show and still watch it sometimes. (Current Biographies)