‘Happy Days’ Star Marion Ross ‘Always’ Expected Ron Howard To Become a Major Filmmaker

by Clayton Edwards
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Mothers often see potential in their children that others might miss. Apparently, this is true for television mothers, too. Marion Ross played Ron Howard’s on-screen mother in Happy Days. Recently, she revealed that she knew Ron would go on to do big things in Hollywood.

Ron Howard got his big break on The Andy Griffith Show. Not long after that show ended, Howard moved on to another wildly popular show, Happy Days. Before long, he was on the road to becoming a serious filmmaker. While Happy Days was still on the air, Howard directed his first film. Night Shift was a dark comedy starring Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton. Since then, Howard has directed films such as Apollo 13, Willow, Parenthood, and many more. In short, Marion Ross knew what she was talking about.

Marion Ross appeared on a recent episode of Media Path Podcast. She was there to talk about her new book My Days: Happy and Otherwise. However, hosts Fritz and Weezy dove into some Happy Days history with the former Mrs. C. At one point, they talked about Ron Howard’s wealth of potential at a young age.

Marion Ross Knew Ron Howard Would Be a Filmmaker

Fritz wanted to know, “Did you have a sense that [Ron Howard] would become what he became – one of the world’s great directors?”

“I always did,” Marion Ross said with the air of a proud mother. She went on to say that she could see that Ron Howard was “…sitting there, loaded with talent.”

Ross went on to say that Ron Howard “didn’t want to be a showoff in any way.” Instead, the young actor just wanted to be a filmmaker. Anyone who has seen his films knows that Howard is a talented director. However, Marion Ross had a little more insight into who he is as a person.

Ross said despite his fame, Ron Howard is “Just such a wonderful man.” She elaborated, saying that Ron is “wonderful” to his younger brother Clint Howard, who has a long and varied acting career of his own. Additionally, he was a great son to his parents who have both passed away. By all accounts, Howard was also a great person to work with on the Happy Days set. In fact, he and Henry Winkler became as close as brothers and remain friends to this day.

Marion Ross didn’t raise Ron Howard but Mrs. C. did raise Richie Cunningham. As a result, they worked together on the Happy Days set for seven years before Howard moved on to greener pastures. That was all it took for Ross to look at Howard with a hopeful mother’s eyes and see the potential boiling just under the surface.

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