“The Andy Griffith Show” star Ron Howard may be a big Hollywood director these days. But he looks back fondly at his time on the show. Recently, Howard used Twitter to answer a fan’s question about one of his co-stars.
The fan asked Howard if he liked his on-screen dad Andy Griffith. Fans would like to think that actors get along as well as their characters do on-screen. But that’s not always the case. Fortunately, Howard had nothing but good things to say about the late actor.
Howard wrote that Griffith provided an example for him early in life. It’s easy to say that Griffith had an effect on Howard and the rest of his career. In the tweet, Howard wrote, “Loved and respected Andy. He was a great influence setting many positive examples.”
Ron Howard on Andy Griffith
Of course, Ron Howard has spoken fondly of Andy Griffith all of his life. Griffith remained close to Howard and his family until he passed away in 2012. The news of Griffith’s death shook the director. And in an interview, he commented on Griffith’s lasting legacy.
“I just heard this morning right after I woke up. A friend had called to let me know. And I jumped online and got the confirmation. It was sad,” Howard told ET in 2012. “I hadn’t talked to Andy this year at all. I spoke to him several times last year. My dad had spoken to him recently, my father Rance. At that point, which was only six or eight, Andy was very upbeat. Interest in working, interested in projects. I think he lived a rich, full life, full of optimism until the very end.”
It must be strange for Howard to see his young boyhood self immortalized on re-runs of the classic show. But the director credits a big part of the show’s success to Griffith himself. Likewise, Howard said he may never have been as successful as he was without Griffith.
“There wasn’t neurosis around the set. There was a kind of respect for the opportunity, a humility in that. And yet a sense of play. I grew up in this environment believing that creativity and agony were not interlinked. That creativity and fun can be interlinked,” Howard continued. “As long as effort was part of the equation. He definitely informed my career. Our family wouldn’t be what it is today, we wouldn’t be who we are without that show. And that show wouldn’t have been what it was without Andy.”