Ron Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an American actor, film
director and producer born in Duncan, Oklahoma of Dutch, Scottish, English,
Irish, German and Cherokee Indian descent.
Ron Howard first earned recognition as Winthrop Paroo, the child with the lisp in the film version of The Music Man with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. His younger brother, Clint Howard, is a popular character actor. Ron's parents, Rance Howard and the late Jean F. Speegle, were also actors.
After The Music Man, he appeared in the role of Opie Taylor in the television
series The Andy Griffith Show. There he portrayed the son of the local sheriff
in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. The credits referred to him
as Ronny Howard.
Ron Howard also is well known for his role as Richie Cunningham in television's Happy Days where he played the likeable foil to Henry Winkler's Fonz. He attained film success with his role as Steve Bollander in George Lucas' teen movie American Graffiti.
In 1977, while still starring on Happy Days, he directed his first film, a low-budget comedy action film called Grand Theft Auto. After leaving Happy Days in 1980, he directed several TV movies. His big theatrical directing break came in 1982 when he directed the bigger budget film Night Shift featuring soon-to-be well-known actors such as Michael Keaton and Shelley Long.
Ron Howard has since directed a number of high-visibility films, the most acclaimed of which include Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13 (nominated for several Academy Awards), and A Beautiful Mind, for which he won the Oscar for Best Director. Howard is the co-chairman with Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment, a major film and television production company, which has produced notable projects like Friday Night Lights, 8 Mile, and the television series 24 and Felicity.
Ron Howardattended the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television but did not graduate.
Through Ron Howard's company Imagine Television, Howard continues to have a presence in television, most recently as the executive producer and uncredited narrator of the critically acclaimed FOX sitcom Arrested Development. The show, despite having won five Emmy awards and near-unanimous praise from critics, did not enjoy high ratings and was limited by Fox Television in 2006. A season finale took place in February. Although many rumours go round, the show is not officially cancelled, however the finale revealed that the show decided to end, with the hint of a possible feature.
Ron Howard wed his high-school sweetheart, Cheryl, a writer, and they have been married for more than 25 years. Their daughter Bryce Dallas Howard is an actress.
In an episode of South Park, when Cartman "turns ginger" he asks a crowd of fellow ginger haired people to name great Americans with the hair color, the first named is "Ron Howard", when asked to name a second, after a short silence from the crowd, one responds "Ron Howard".
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