‘Happy Days’ Star Ron Howard Remembers His Dad With Moving Throwback Photo

by Taylor Cunningham

Happy Days alum Ron Howard is celebrating his late dad this Father’s Day with one of his favorite photographed memories.

On Twitter, the classic TV star posted a black and white snapshot from the set of one of his 1992 directorial classics. In it, the camera captured three generations of Howards.

“Here’s a family picture I love, especially around Father’s Day,” he captioned. “We [were] shooting #FarandAway in #Montana Dad #RanceHoward was acting in it, I was directing and my son #ReedHoward seemed to not have a care in the world. ⁦We both miss my dad.”

Ron Howard Followed in His Father’s Footsteps

Like Ron, Rance was a screen side legend in his day. He began acting when he was 28, with his first film being Frontier Woman. And from 1962 to 1964, he even made four appearances alongside his son in The Andy Griffith Show.

Rance also dabbled in writing and producing during his life. He even wrote and produced 1977’s Grand Theft Auto, which also starred Ron Howard.

While Rance didn’t climb to the same level of fame as his Oscar-winning son, he did earn a few awards during his career. And in 1982, he shared an Emmy nod with Ron for their production work on Through the Magic Pyramid.

But he obviously learned a lot about the industry along the way because Ron Howard credits his father for helping him because the Hollywood icon that he is today. And that all started because of the strong bond the two had from the start.

In a 2020 interview, Ron admitted that his father was always his hero. And no matter what he did with his life, he probably would have followed in the same footsteps. But because of Ron’s personality, becoming a celebrity seemed unlikely.

However, Ron spent years with his dad on movie and TV sets. And watching Rance live his dreams made Ron realize that he was more like his dad than he knew.

“That is amazing. If my dad was a doctor, I would be a doctor. If he had stayed on the farm, I probably would have been on the farm,” he said on the Smartless podcast. “He left the farm to chase this dream. My mom left this little town in Duncan, Oklahoma. But because I don’t have a performer’s personality exactly, I don’t think I would have sought that out. I think once I was a part of it, I began to see this whole experience as something that suited me.”

Rance Howard passed away on November 25th, 2017, from heart failure due to the West Nile virus. He was 89 years old.