‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Ron Howard Drops Epic Father’s Day Pic of Father Rance with ‘TV Dad’ Andy Griffith

by Suzanne Halliburton

Ron Howard had the pleasure of working with some great TV dads on series like The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.

To honor Father’s Day, Howard posted a photo to Twitter showing him with Andy Griffith and his own dad, Rance Howard.

He tweeted: “For Father’s Day here’s a pic I found while Clint & I were writing our memoir. My Dad Rance on the left & 1st TV dad Andy Griffith. This was at our wedding in ‘75 & makes me smile.”

Ron Howard looks just like his dad. And Andy Griffith looks like he always did.

Ron Howard Played Opie on Andy Griffith Show For Eight Years

Ron Howard played Opie on The Andy Griffith Show from 1960-68. Sheriff Andy Taylor was a widower and he raised Opie with the help of Aunt Bee in Mayberry, N.C. Howard was 6 when he became Opie. But by 1960, he was a veteran child actor, with guest star roles on Dennis the Menace, the Twilight Zone and The Danny Thomas Show.

Rance Howard and Ron, who was two, made their feature film debuts in Frontier Woman in 1956.

After The Andy Griffith Show finished its run, Howard found more fame in the movie, American Graffiti. Then he made the jump back to TV with Happy Days and Richie Cunningham. And that’s when he worked with another top American Dad in Tom Bosley, who played Howard Cunningham.

Tom Bosley Said Howard’s Parents Raised Him Right

Bosley praised Howard, the former Andy Griffith Show star, in 2000 during an interview with the Archive of American Television. And he especially lauded how Howard’s parents raised him.

Bosley said: “Ron Howard is a very rare individual in this business. Great parents, parents who knew exactly how to raise him. He just lost his mother and we went to a memorial. It was just the most beautiful thing you can imagine because it was a celebration. And that’s the way he and his brother were raised by these people, just wonderful.

“His mother was an actress at one time. And his father is an actor and a writer. It’s all there. But he was Mr. Regular Kid,” Bosley said of Opie from the Andy Griffith Show. “He went to public high school. He married his childhood sweetheart. I mean he was the storybook you don’t find in LA. He was the storybook you find in like Iowa, you know what I mean? And he just permeated (normalcy) … never flaunted his position. We were all equals on the show.”

Howard Married His High School Sweetheart

Ron Howard married Cheryl, his high school sweetheart, in 1975. They were both 21. And, as we can see from the photo he posted Saturday, Andy Griffith was at his wedding. So although Howard had been off the series for seven years, the Andy Griffith Show still was a big part of his life.

He said of Andy Griffith in 2010:

“He treated me really well, but he made it a learning experience, not in a stern, taskmaster kind of a way, but I was really allowed a real insight into creativity and how things work and why some scenes were funny and others weren’t. That insight has served me really well over the years. Andy was really kind to me, always playful and fun, but, by the same token, he wanted to get the work done.”