‘The Andy Griffith Show’: The One Thing Ron Howard Had to Do to as Opie Besides Being ‘Natural’

by Will Shepard

Ron Howard has been in several hit television shows and movies since he started on The Andy Griffith Show. His career is expansive and could and has filled books. He had a few small parts before the show, but nothing like the character of Opie.

Thankfully, Howard fit the part perfectly, and he didn’t have to do much to fit the part. But he did have to put on an accent to meld with The Andy Griffith Show as well as he did.

In an interview with Television Academy Foundation in 2010, Howard talked about adapting to the role of Opie.

“For me playing the part,” Howard explained. “It was, outside of the fact that there was a literal southern accent that I did, it was really a matter of just being as honest and realistic as I could.”

Even though Howard mentioned the accents almost as an aside, it was instrumental in the character being excellent. Because Andy Griffith had such a thick accent, it would not have made sense for Opie to sound like an Oklahoma boy. So,

The Relationship Between Andy Griffith and Ron Howard Due to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

In the interview, Howard talked about how incredible his relationship with Andy Griffith was. Griffith made being part of The Andy Griffith Show feel effortless for the young actor. He showed a six-year-old Ron Howard how to handle himself in Hollywood.

“And I did learn a lot about comedy timing, and Andy was my primary teacher,” Howard said. “If I was stepping on a joke or needed to wait, or something like that, I’d be schooled. And generally, Andy was the one who would do that.”

However, he then went back to explaining how effortless playing Opie in The Andy Griffith Show felt. Howard again explained that because of the relationship with Andy, it all felt like everyday life.

“But for the most part, it was natural. The Andy-Opie relationship wasn’t exactly like my dad’s and mine, of course,” Howard clarified with a smile. “I could differentiate between the two, but it felt pretty similar. So it wasn’t to me, a kind of fantasy world at all. It was just simple, straightforward truthfulness.”

After all, Ron Howard was only fourteen when the show concluded. But, he was much the wiser than his younger self, and the life lessons had abounded, thanks to Andy Griffith.