‘Happy Days’ Icon Ron Howard Explains Why New Memoir Is a Must-Read for Parents

by Jennifer Shea
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Happy Days star Ron Howard has a new book out, and he says it’s a must-read for parents whose kids are in any way interested in show business.

Howard wrote the book with his brother Clint, five years his junior, who was also a child actor. In a recent interview with Fatherly, Howard held forth on his parents, who he says enabled him and Clint to excel in a cutthroat industry. While the book, The Boys: A Memoir of Family and Hollywood, is first and foremost a memoir, it’s also a guidebook of sorts for parents trying to navigate the entertainment business with their kids in tow.

“It’s almost a parenting book, too,” Howard told Fatherly. “If you have any interest in allowing your children to be in show business, I think this book can help you and your children learn about how to excel on at an elevated level. We were at a highly competitive level. And without our parents, we wouldn’t have made it.”

Happy Days Icon’s Book Is Also A Nod to Nostalgia

For fans of Opie or Richie Cunningham, the book is also a nice trip down memory lane. The Howards share their memories of their early days in Hollywood and how their parents managed to maintain a quirky but happy little nuclear family amid all the crazy pressures of the industry.

“It’s a unique memoir because it’s the story of our parents [Rance and Jean Howard] but we also thought it could entertain and engage people very broadly,” Howard said. “If you care about nostalgia, we have that to share.”

Of course, along with the nostalgia came differences of opinion about how things happened back in the day. The Howard brothers acknowledged that their memories sometimes diverged, but they reportedly acknowledge those diversions in the book.

“I had a different perspective than Ron,” Clint told Fatherly. “Ron’s brain is five years older than mine. He was more mature during some of this stuff. So, yeah, in the book, you’ll see that a couple of times our memories don’t match up. But, I think both of us have our mom’s gift of gab.”

Howard Brothers Have a Shared Hollywood Experience

Both Howard brothers came of age in Hollywood and have had successful careers in the industry as adults. Ron starred in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days when he was young. And Clint starred in Gentle Ben and also played Leon on The Andy Griffith Show.

After Happy Days, Ron made the transition into directing, moving from Grand Theft Auto to more recent films like Parenthood and Apollo 13. Clint went on to appear in multiple Star Trek episodes and on shows like Married… with Children, Seinfeld and My Name Is Earl.

Now the two brothers are teaming up to promote their memoir, a tribute to the memories of their parents and a walk down memory lane. For Hollywood parents and nostalgia buffs alike, it looks like a must-read.