How Ron Howard’s Father Played Major Role in Helping Him Avoid ‘Temptations’ of Hollywood

by Madison Miller

Rance Howard was a popular Hollywood figure during his career. He was in films like “Cinderella Man,” “Splash,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Chinatown,” and “Cool Hand Luke.” Following in his footsteps were his two sons, Ron Howard and Clint Howard.

Ron Howard has become a popular director, producer, and actor. He is known for “The Twilight Zone” “Happy Days,” “American Graffiti,” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” Since then, he has directed and writing films like “A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man,” “The Paper,” and “Apollo 13.”

He often would cast his father Rance in his movies. Unfortunately, Rance Howard passed away in 2017 from heart failure related to a West Nile virus infection. Besides getting his sons into acting, Rance helped keep them on the “good side” of Hollywood.

Rance Howard and Ron Howard

Rance and Ron had an interesting relationship near the later years of Rance’s life. Ron had become more influential and was in charge of his father on-set of different films.

The interesting power dynamic never impacted their relationship, however. A part of that is likely due to how Rance raised the two kids. Money and power were never priorities.

“We were well aware of all the traps that Hollywood parents and children fall into when the child becomes the breadwinner. We were determined to live on what I could afford and put the boys’ money away for them,” Rance Howard said, according to a 2017 article from Jackson Sun.

According to a 2017 article from The Hollywood Reporter, Clint and Ron Howard had the most “normal” lives possible as kids. This included park league sports and the family never once hired a legal guardian.

“Dad faced life and the travails of the entertainment business with enthusiasm, dignity and fearlessness. For that, we’ll be forever grateful,” Ron and Clint wrote in a goodbye letter to their father.

Clint Howard has been in “The Waterboy,” “Apollo 13,” “My Name is Earl,” and “The Jungle Book.” He is the frontman of a band called The Kempsters and also makes custom snow globes.

Interesting Family Dynamic

At a very young age, Rance and his wife, Jean Speegle Howard, got the two kids involved in the filmmaking process. However, the temptations that come with fame and fortune at a young age were avoided as best as possible.

His son’s success in the future would never bother him.

“It didn’t bother my ego at all; I was his father teaching him what I knew about acting. He quickly accepted it, learned from it, and enjoyed it. Ron and I always had a good relationship,” Rance Howard once said.

Ron Howard’s first appearance in the movies was in “Frontier Woman” in 1956. He was only 18 months old at the time. However, his parents thought it would be memorable to have their son on-screen with them. He plays a crying baby in the film, which is about as much as he could do at that point.