‘The Andy Griffith Show’: How Ron Howard’s Dad, Rance, Influenced His Acting Career

by Katie Maloney
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Would Ron Howard have starred in “The Andy Griffith Show” if it weren’t for his dad?

Anyone who knew young Ron Howard also knew his dad Rance. Rance Howard was a famous movie and television actor. So, in many way’s Ron Howard’s real-life upbringing may have been different from his character Opie’s on “The Andy Griffith Show.” But there’s one thing the two definitely shared: great dads. On the show, Opie’s father, Andy Taylor, always found ways to turn obstacles into helpful lessons for his son. He was gentle yet stern and instilled strong values in Opie. Andy and Opie had the father-son relationship everyone in America wanted, which was just one reason so many fans tuned in each week to watch “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Luckily, Ron Howard had a similar relationship with his own father in real-life.

Ron Howard Said He May Not Have Acted on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Without His Dad

During an interview in 2020, Howard spoke about the influence his dad had on his career. He said that he fell into film and acting because of his father. After spending years on set with his dad, he realized that the film industry was where he wanted to be. But he would have followed in his father’s footsteps no matter what profession he pursued.

“That is amazing. If my dad was a doctor, I would be a doctor. If he had stayed on the farm, I probably would have been on the farm. He left the farm to chase this dream. My mom left this little town in Duncan, Oklahoma. But because I don’t have a performer’s personality exactly, I don’t think I would have sought that out. I think once I was a part of it, I began to see this whole experience as something that suited me,” said Howard.

Now that is a strong father-son relationship! Howard added that the one thing he always knew he needed in a profession was leadership. Whether he was a doctor, actor in “The Andy Griffith Show”, or a high school basketball coach, he knew he needed to be able to lead.

“I think I may have sought leadership. So I’ve often thought I would have been either an English teacher or a history teacher and a basketball coach. My dad wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor and I’m not either so I don’t think we would have made it in the medical field,” said Howard with a laugh.

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