‘Happy Days’: Ron Howard Explained His Fame ‘Attracted Fights’ in High School

by Keeli Parkey
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Being a famous teenager isn’t always all it is cracked up to be. This is a lesson “Happy Days” and “The Andy Griffith Show” star Ron Howard learned the hard way.

The now-famous film director shared a few details about his experiences as a teenager during an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Dec. 8, 2015.

“How popular were you in high school?” host Dan Patrick asked Ron Howard during the early minutes of their interview.

“I was famous. I was famous, too, but in a way that attracted fights,” Howard said with a laugh.

The “Happy Days” star then went on to recount his experience as an athlete at his high school in California.

“There was a lot of like, I played ‘B’ basketball,” Howard recalled. “That was for the guys who weren’t kind of tall enough, you know, to play varsity at John Burroughs High School in Burbank.”

It was during his junior varsity basketball games that other high school students would taunt Ron Howard with a theme song from his first famous television show. It’s a mean thing to do, but it’s also pretty funny when you think about. And, the director now sees the humor in it.

“… if I was shooting a foul shot, they would play ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ theme song,” Howard humorously recounted.

He would also get taunted from the stands in other ways. For example, some fans would shout out, “Miss it, Opie” while the teenage Ron Howard was at the free throw line.

‘Happy Days’ Star Ron Howard Said Sports Held Him Deal With Stresses of Being Famous During High School

“When I would go back to school there would always be a couple of weeks of sort of staking out your territory,” the “Happy Days” star said.

And, according to Ron Howard, sports held him navigate the tricky landscape of life in high school.

“Sports helped me with that,” he told Dan Patrick in 2015. “I mean, it was kind of an equalizer. I wasn’t great, but you know I was kind of co-captain of that team. I was a starter. I was good enough to sort of, you know, to have another, you know, role a function at the school. I also loved journalism. So, I was co-editor of the school paper. …”

And, even though he was famous for appearing on television, that didn’t necessarily translate into popularity for Ron Howard during high school.

“I wasn’t like popular in some sort of social way,” he said. “But, I was also not that interested in that. I wasn’t really trying. … I already knew I wanted to be a director.”

You can watch Ron Howard talk about growing up famous and many other things with Dan Patrick below. He recounts his “B” team basketball experiences beginning around the 3:30 mark of the interview.

Outsider.com