Ron Howard Opens Up About Parents’ Early Struggles in Hollywood

by Joe Rutland

While everyone knows that Ron Howard is one of Hollywood’s most successful actors and directors, it wasn’t that way for his parents.

Ron Howard and his brother, Clint Howard, appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and talked about what their mom and dad faced.

“Look, their whole love story is kind of a fairy tale,” Ron Howard said. “It’s one of the reasons we wanted to tell it. These two people they had – you know, they, later in life, called themselves the sophisticated hicks.

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

Father of Ron Howard Had Parts In Series That Starred Both of His Sons

Well, Outsiders, there probably will be a whole lot more said by Ron and Clint both in the memoir. That is called “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family.”

Oh, who were their parents? Rance and Jean Howard. Rance did have some success as he wrote scripts and appeared on his sons’ shows “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gentle Ben.”

And just for a little more info, Ron Howard did play Opie Taylor on the Griffith show. Clint was Mark Wedloe on “Gentle Ben” and has had roles in TV shows and movies his brother has been involved with over the years.

They are sharing their stories of life growing up in show business as well as being together in the memoir.

It’s in that book, too, where Ron talks about starting to lose his hair. He shared that he had a fear of “Fonzie” on “Happy Days.” Well, not Henry Winkler, who played Arthur Fonzarelli.

“It did not escape my notice that as the season went on, the Fonz was getting more and more screen time,” Howard writes. “I didn’t handle my stress particularly well. I probably would have benefited from seeing a psychotherapist…instead, I kept everything inside.” 

Actor Recalls Seeing TV Father Andy Griffith Struggling With His Marriage

Obviously, many Outsiders have been watching Ron Howard since he was a young boy. He kind of grew up as Opie Taylor next to Sheriff Andy Taylor, played by Andy Griffith.

But Griffith was in “genuine pain” with his first marriage to Barbara suffering. Howard wrote, “Andy came back from Christmas break one season with his hand all taped up. He was blunt about what happened: I got drunk, I got mad, and I put my fist through a door.”