Ron Howard Biography
The biography on the life of Ron Howard, the famous actor/director, who most of us remember as either "Opie Taylor" or "Richie Cunningham".
Ron Howard was born the son of Jean and Rance Howard, both of whom were no strangers to show business, and from a very young age, Ron knew he wanted to be an actor. When he was six, he won his first big acting role as Andy Griffith's son, Opie Taylor, in "The Andy Griffith Show".
It wasn't long before Ron was bitten by the directors' bug. He received a video camera as a birthday present from the cast of the "Andy Griffith" show and made his first movie, a cops and robbers film featuring his dad, Rance, and his younger brother Clint (star of the television show "Gentle Ben").
Once "The Andy Griffith Show" was finished, Ron was just entering into his teen years. It was the first time since he could remember since he had been without steady work. After many guest appearances on "Gentle Ben" and a short-lived series, "The Smith Family", Ron decided to quit acting to play basketball. His family supported his decision, as acting was always his choice, and they never forced it upon him.
Ron soon began dating Cheryl Alley, his first love, who he dated exclusively throughout high school. In the meantime, he realized that he didn't have much of a future as a basketball star--he was only 5'9, and wasn't getting any taller. He decided to give acting another try.
Ron auditioned for a pilot, for which he got the leading role, as "Richie Cunningham". The pilot was called "A New Family in Town" and was produced by Gary Marshall. It was set in the 1950's. Unfortunately, the pilot did not sell as a series, and ended up being broadcast as an episode of "Love and the Happy Days." Though this pilot didn't take off, it changed Ron's career forever.
George Lucas was planning on doing a film entitled "American Graffiti" that was set in the 1950's. The plot was about a group of newly graduated high school kids on their last night before they all went there separate ways. Ron was chosen for the movie due to his performance in Gary Marshall's pilot. "American Graffiti" turned out to be a huge success, and brought about a new nostalgic interest in the 1950's era. Gary Marshall decided to make another pilot, still using Ron as "Richie Cunningham". This time, the pilot was a success--the television show "Happy Days" was born.
In 1974, the first year that "Happy Days" was on the air, Ron married his long time girlfriend, Cheryl Alley. He continued with "Happy Days" for six years, and then left the show to pursue his dream of directing. His first attempt at directing was in the movie "Grand Theft Auto", of which he and his father Rance co-wrote the script.
Ron soon became known as one of the best directors in Hollywood, and still is. Some off his movies include "Splash", "Backdraft", and "EdTV". Ron does not act anymore, but is still directing. He only directs one movie a year however, so that he has time to spend with his family. He is known in the movie industry as being the nicest guy in Hollywood.