‘Happy Days’: Richie Cunningham Actor Ron Howard’s Father Makes an Appearance in This Episode

by Joe Rutland

Ron Howard and his father, Rance, would often share screen time together on TV shows. This time, they both appear on “Happy Days.”

Richie Cunningham, which Ron Howard played on the ABC sitcom, is in an episode called “Here Comes The Bride, Again.” The plot revolves around Richie and Joanie, played by Erin Moran, putting together a new wedding ceremony for their parents, Howard and Marion Cunningham. Tom Bosley played Howard and Marion Ross played Marion.

Now, where does Rance Howard pop up? In the show, a grouchy neighbor named Mr. Burkhart makes his presence known. Rance plays Mr. Burkhart in this episode.

‘Happy Days’ Not Only Time Ron And Rance Howard Appear Together

As mentioned, this “Happy Days” episode is not the first time Ron and Rance are in the same TV show. Remember Ron playing Opie on “The Andy Griffith Show”? His dad makes appearances in four episodes, “Cousin Virgil,” “A Black Day for Mayberry,” “Barney and the Governor,” and “The Rumor.”

Rance Howard also had quite a career for himself beyond those of his sons, Ron and Clint. Among his movie credits are “Cool Hand Luke,” “Splash,” “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “Chinatown.”

Rance Howard died on Nov. 25, 2017, just eight days after celebrating his 89th birthday. Erin Moran died on April 22, 2017, at 56.

Ron Howard Says Tom Bosley Was Important Part of Cast

While we’re spending time talking about a “Happy Days” episode featuring Bosley, it’s worth noting how much Ron Howard appreciated him.

Bosley played Howard on every “Happy Days” show that appeared on ABC. The lone exception? The show’s pilot. He died in 2010 at 83 years old. Howard took time to honor Bosley upon his death.

“Tom’s insight, talent, strength of character, and comic timing made him a vital central figure in the Happy Days experience,” Ron Howard said. “A great father and husband, and a wonderful artist, Tom led by example and made us all laugh while he was doing it.”

For 11 seasons, Bosley showed up as Howard Cunningham, asserting his fatherly advice to Ron Howard and even Henry Winkler, “The Fonz,” when asked.