Ron Howard got his start in Hollywood at a young age on the hit sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. He followed that up with a starring role on Happy Days before moving more behind-the-camera as one of Hollywood’s best directors of the last several decades.
You may not know, though, that Howard has been happily married for over 45 years now to his high school sweetheart. Yes, really. He met his wife, Cheryl Alley, in high school in Burbank, California. As he tells it, after the first date he was swoon. He knew Cheryl was the woman for him and five years later the couple got married. They have been married ever since. 45 years and still together.
Ron Howard & Andy Griffith
Howard got his start working with Griffith on the 1960s show set in the fictional town of Mayberry. At six-years-old, it was a tough place for a kid to grow up in. He needed good folks to be in his corner and he needed Griffith and company to help him along the way. Thankfully, that is how Griffith was with Howard. He said of their relationship, “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.”
He served more as a mentor than anything to Howard. He showed him the ropes, even as a kid. It’s interesting to hear Howard’s perspective on their relationship. He’s even honest that Griffith liked to have fun, but he liked to get the work done, too. The relationship worked. He cherished it.
Ron Howard Growing Up in Hollywood
Howard opened up more about growing up on the sets of TV shows where he said, “We wanted to look back and savor the unique experiences of working on these various shows and what we learned, which was a lot. That’s in many ways why our parents actually encouraged it. I don’t think it was about being career film and television people. They felt this was an opportunity to learn how to excel at something, how to earn people’s respect, and they saw that we had the capacity and the aptitude to do it. There’s a lesson in that. There are a lot of parental lessons buried within this story, these object lessons of how to navigate unusual circumstances by using common sense and that ever abiding sense of a quality of love. “
It’s an interesting perspective for Howard to have, to be sure. He is OK with how things turned out, which is great to read.