‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Ron Howard Recalls How Parents Got Him, Brother Clint Into Acting

by Joe Rutland
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Actors Ron and Clint Howard have been around in the world of show business since their work on the classic TV show The Andy Griffith Show. Yes, you remember Ron Howard playing Opie Taylor but Clint was on there, too. A young Clint Howard played Little Leon who would sometimes visit Andy and offer him a bite of his sandwich. It was quite cute and fitting for a little boy as an actor.

These two got together and wrote a memoir about growing up in Hollywood. Their parents were actors, too, and father Rance even appeared on The Andy Griffith Show, too. How did the Howards’ parents get them into acting? Both of them were guests on Rachael Ray when promoting their memoir. Ron talks about it here with Rachael while Clint tosses in some solid notes about their youth.

Ron Howard of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Remembers Parents’ Dream Was To Act

“The remarkable thing about it all was that they weren’t trying to get us in the business and be our managers,” Ron Howard said. “They serve that purpose. You know, it was their dream to be, to act. And that’s what they, what they continued to pursue.

“But I think Dad recognized from that very first time, and when I started picking up on dialogue, that I did have an aptitude,” Ron Howard says. “And Clint showed that very early as well. And that, this was an opportunity for us to learn something, to learn how to excel at something. (And) That he wanted us to have the fundamentals. He didn’t want us to be little performing cutie pies.”

Clint Howard Makes Memorable Appearance As Child Actor on ‘Star Trek’

As you know, Ron has gone on to appear in another hit TV series on Happy Days. But he’s followed his own path to becoming a top-notch movie director. Clint Howard also has done other TV work in his career, too. He made an incredible appearance as a child actor on Star Trek. But he’s continued to find work in show business.

Rance Howard had appearances on The Andy Griffith Show but he also came back to be in the NBC reunion movie Return to Mayberry. Yes, Ron also showed up as an older Opie Taylor opposite Andy Griffith’s Andy Taylor. Father Rance and mother Jean would go back to New York one last time before Jean dies. It’s a moving memory for Ron Howard all these years later. “One of the things that [my mom] wanted to do was go back to New York and see New York again,” he tells Kate and Oliver Hudson on their podcast. “So Dad took her back.”

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