‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Star Ron Howard Expressed Issues with Child Stardom Today: ‘Intimidating’

by Evan Reier

Ron Howard has been counting his blessings. Few names are as synonymous with child stardom than the The Andy Griffith Show star.

Compounded with a late-teens role on Happy Days, and Ron Howard’s early years are some of the most memorable in television history. Whether as Opie Taylor or Richie Cunningham, his boyish charm was adored on international levels.

These days, Howard has casually transitioned into being an Oscar-winning director. Getting behind the camera is something Howard wanted to do from a young age, and it translated to a legendary career.

In 2015, Howard and sports talk host Dan Patrick had a conversation about his career. The pair addressed his modern-day work as well as his life as a child star.

Dan Patrick asks Howard about the differences in child stardom today versus when he was a kid.

“When you were on [The Andy Griffith Show,] Mayberry and then you have Happy Days, at that age in being in Hollywood, it seemed like you were fortunate there was insulation there of being a childhood star as opposed to [today,” Patrick said. “If you were doing it now?”

“Oh man,” Howard responded with a head shake. “The transparency is mind-blowing. It’s intimidating in the extreme, it has to be.”

Howard then cheekily alludes to some of his younger antics.

“We’re not gonna talk about it,” Howard continued. “But I can think of two or three that could’ve been horrible if they come out. But everybody does embarrassing, dumb stuff. It’s very hard on this generation.”

The Andy Griffith Show Star Ron Howard Equates Fame to ‘1984’

While we would love to hear some more details on those alluded stories, The Andy Griffith Show star went a different route.

Instead, he made a thought-provoking point about the state of celebrity in the United States. With the advancement of technology and the ability to pretty much always have eyeballs on you, Howard said one iconic book exists in a different form.

“I always say,” Howard started. “It turns out we didn’t need the government to give us ‘1984’ and ‘Big Brother,’ we’re just doing it ourselves, because we like the other things about it. All the convenience and the access.”

‘1984’ by George Orwell is a timeless book about a dystopian society where the governing body has reached immense power, and attempts to prevent individual thought or action. While that may not exactly be the case today, his comparison isn’t without substance.