Date of Birth: March 1, 1954
Ron Howard was born into a theatrical family in Oklahoma. His father had realized a boyhood dream of acting by attending the University of Oklahoma and majoring in drama, and his mother attended acting school in New York.
He was in his first movie at the age of only 18 months in Frontier Woman (1955), although his first real part was at the age of four. Soon a regular on Playhouse 90 (1956), he was cast as Opie on The Andy Griffith Show (1960), and later moved from a child in Mayberry to America's teenager, Richie Cunningham in Happy Days (1974).
The life of a child star is certainly not routine, but Howard's parents wanted his life to be as normal as possible. He attended public schools and at age 15, even took nine months off to play a basketball season.
Soon, however, Howard started balding and, at about the same time, quit performing. He was 26. He made a highly successful transition to producer-director with films like Splash (1984) and Cocoon (1985).
He had begun shooting films at age 15 with a Super-8 camera, and after high school, spent two years in the film program at the University of Southern California. But he checked out, feeling he could learn more from actual experience than in class.
That first film was the hardest to finance, but he struck a deal with Roger Cormanhe would star in Eat My Dust! (1976) and Corman would produce Grand Theft Auto (1977), which Howard would direct (he also wrote the script and had a starring role). It was a success, and his directorial career was jump-started.
Today, Imagine Films, the production company he runs with Brian Grazer, is one of the most lucrative and respected in Hollywood. The early '90s were not particularly kind to Howard, but his 1995 film, Apollo 13 (1995), paired a compelling story with the current box-office golden boy, Tom Hanks, and everyone, including critics and moviegoers, was pleased. His next project would be the Christmas classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), starring Jim Carrey.
Howard's hard work finally paid off in 2002 when his film A Beautiful Mind (2001), starring Russell Crowe and Best Supporting Actress Jennifer Connelly, won him his first Academy Awards, one for Best Director and one for Best Picture. He has since directed one of the most highly anticipated films of 2006The Da Vinci Code (2006) starring Tom Hanks as well as the sequel, Angels & Demons (2009). In 2009 he received his second Academy Award nomination for Frost/Nixon (2008).
Married since 1975 to his high school sweetheart, Howard is enjoying his life as one of Hollywood's top directors. He has four children and three of them are named after the places where they were conceived: Bryce Dallas in Dallas; Paige Carlyle and Jocelyn Carlyle at the Hotel Carlyle in New York.
Angels & Demons
East of Eden (2007)
The Da Vinci Code
A Beautiful Mind
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Apollo 13 (1995)
The Paper (1994)
Far and Away (1992)
Gung Ho (1986)
Night Shift (1982)
The Independent (2000)
From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Light & Magic (1999)
The Magical World of Chuck Jones (1992)
More American Graffiti (1979)
Grand Theft Auto (1977)
Eat My Dust! (1976)
The First Nudie Musical (1976)
I'm a Fool (1976)
The Shootist (1976)
The Spikes Gang (1974)
Happy Mother's Day, Love George (1973)
The Wild Country (1971)
Village of the Giants (1965)
The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963)
The Music Man (1962)
Door-to-Door Maniac (1961)
The Journey (1959)
Frontier Woman (1955) (uncredited)