‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Director Richard Crenna Knew Ron Howard ‘Would Go On To Something Else’

by Clayton Edwards
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The Andy Griffith Show did so much to change not just television but film as well. However, the show didn’t seem like it was out to break new ground. In fact, the charm of the series is that it looks back to a much simpler time. It was pure nostalgic escapism and people loved that. When the show aired, people needed it.

The Andy Griffith Show didn’t revolutionize shooting techniques or change the course of broadcast television like I Love Lucy. Instead, it popularized a handful of actors that went on to do great things. For instance, it made Andy Griffith a household name. At the same time, it helped Ron Howard grow as an actor. That, of course, led to him getting his role on Happy Days. On that show, he was able to mentor Henry Winkler. Winkler brought us one of the best characters in TV history with Fonzie. He couldn’t have done that without Ron Howard’s help. Happy Days went on to have a massive impact on TV and pop culture in general.

After The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, Ron Howard went on to be an Oscar-winning director. Today, Howard is proficient both in front of and behind the camera. We can chalk that up, at least in part, to his time in Mayberry.

So, The Andy Griffith Show changed the world of entertainment the same way its characters dealt with issues in Mayberry. It lifted people up so that everyone could see the best in them.

At least one person, Andy Griffith Show director Richard Crenna, knew that Ron Howard would go on to bigger and better things. He talked about that in an interview with Archive of American Television before his death in 2003.

Andy Griffith Show Director Saw Big Things in Ron Howard’s Future

Ron Howard was just a boy when he played Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. However, Richard Crenna could tell that he would go on to do great things.

While discussing one of his favorite episodes of the show, Crenna talked a little about Ron Howard. He started by saying, “We all know what happened to Opie. He just won an Academy Award.” He went on to say that Howard was a wonderful “kid actor,” on the show. Crenna added that he was, “One of those that you knew would go on to something else.”

Crenna said that some of the child actors on The Andy Griffith Show were just “cute kids.” Howard, on the other hand, was an actor through and through.

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