Ron Howard Recalls His Parents’ ‘Fairy Tale’ Love Story

by Samantha Whidden

While promoting his and his brother Clint’s new book, “The Boys; A Memoir of Hollywood and Family,Ron Howard previously made an appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” to speak about the love between his parents, Rance and Jean Howard.

While speaking to Seth Meyers, Howard opened up about his parent’s love story.  The duo was married from 1949 to Jean’s death in 2000. “Look, their whole love story is kind of a fairy tale,” Ron explained. “It’s one of the reasons that we wanted to tell it [in the book]. These two people, they had, you know, they later in life, called themselves the sophisticated hicks.”

Ron Howard then said his parents had no business dreaming of Hollywood. “Dad wanted to be a singing cowboy. Couldn’t carry a tune. Thank God nobody told him. But they met at University of Oklahoma, they fell in love, and you know, the reality is, they ran off to be in the business together.”

Ron Howard then said that his parents ran off to New York City together and actually succeeded. However, Howard’s father would tell a different story.  “But the story was always, ‘Yeah, you know, I left and I got a summer-stock thing, and she went to New York, and then lo and behold, we discovered each other again, and then we somehow got cast in this children’s theater thing together. We both got jobs! Wow!’”

Following the children’s theater casting, Ron Howard’s parents fell in love and then got married in Kentucky because, according to Howard, there wasn’t a waiting period.

Meanwhile, Ron Howard also spoke about his mother’s dedication to the Howard family and how she helped get everyone careers. “Without her, her energy, her vision, her creativity, none of it would have happened.”

Ron Howard Recalls His Parents Making One Last Trip to New York Before His Mother’s Death 

Earlier his year, Ron Howard spoke to Kate Hudson on her and her brother’s podcast, “Sibling Revelry with Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson,” about the trip his parents took to New. York City prior to his mother’s death. 

“They wanted to see the apartment where they had really been those, you know, bohemian kids,” Ron Howard explained. “They pulled up – and this is so much like a movie, or a Dickens’ novel – [they see] literally a wrecking ball swinging through the air, taking the building out!”

Ron Howard said that while he thought this would be a terrible thing to see, his mother notably had a different opinion about the situation. “Here’s my mom’s vibe. I said, ‘Mom, were you disappointed about that?’ And she said, ‘Oh, no, we felt really lucky…  Lucky that we got to be the last ones to see it.’”