Ron Howard Says He Was Bullied for Being a Child Star

by Kati Michelle
(Photo by Fotos International/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ron Howard (Ronny) and his brother boast a long list of credits in Hollywood. Ron continues to be remembered as one of America’s (and Outsider’s) most beloved child stars. He built that reputation with his work on timeless classics like “The Twilight Zone” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” It’s rather easy to assume his childhood was ripe with the camaraderie, buffoonery, and smiles of “Happy Days.” However, the newest memoir from the Howard brothers paints a different picture.

Brothers Ron and Clint Howard put out “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family” less than a month ago. The book shares more about growing up in the limelight from their own perspective. Born to actors Rance and Jean Howard, the two grew up a little differently than most. And Outsiders, we are sorry to report that Ron Howard’s “child star” status actually caused him a great deal of pain. Apparently, he was even bullied for it.

Ron Howard Says Peers Considered Him a ‘Weirdo’

Richie Cunningham. Opie Taylor. Ring a bell? Ron Howard absolutely killed it with these roles. Although his acting was well-received across the globe, his own community actually ostracized him for it. In talking to Mario Lopez, brothers Ron and Clint opened up more about their struggles and the inspiration behind their memoir.

Ron specifically talks about how peers his age considered him a “weirdo” or a “freak.” Apparently, he struggled to get respect and had to resort to “building [his] credibility on the playground.” That right there hurts our Outsider heart, but we’re happy to be part of the crowd giving him the recognition he deserves now.

You can listen to their full interview with Mario Lopez right here. It actually takes place right on the Universal lot that the brothers frequented over the past decade or so:

Remembering Their Late Parents

Ron and Clint Howard also mention that part of the inspiration behind working on the memoir together involved trying to pay tribute to their late parents. They both look back fondly on how they were raised, though they say it wasn’t the most traditional childhood.

Their parents actually had big Hollywood dreams of their own but opted to nurture Clint and Ron Howard’s dreams instead. At the same time that they tried to pass on a good work ethic, they also tried to leave the brothers with a sense of groundedness. For this reason, both brothers actually attended public school.

On that note, the brothers actively participated in several different competitive sports. Apparently, their parents made pretty good cheerleaders, too. The brothers remember them as stellar “Little League parents” and “basketball parents.”

The memoir has already charted on the New York Times bestseller list for non-fiction.