His father, Rance, was a constant presence during the legendary actor Ron Howard’s career.
A prolific actor himself, Rance trained his son on The Andy Griffith Show for the award-winning career that lay ahead of him from his years.
According to one star, Rance maintained a low profile – and kept steadfastly to himself – during Ron’s early years in the hit comedy Happy Days.
Ron Howard’s dad was his acting mentor as well.
Rance Howard, my dad, turned 92 today. We miss him pic.twitter.com/mny6ecnBGV- Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 17, 2020 Ron Howard was just six years old when the Andy Griffith Show debuted in 1960, when he took on the role of Opie’s son of Sheriff Andy Taylor in the now-classic series.
Ron was too young for his lines to be read and memorized. Instead, in 2006, he told the American Television Archive that it was his dad, Rance Howard, who “taught me my lines. I couldn’t read.”
Rance was a professional actor who appeared in series such as The Virginian, Bonanza, That Girl, and Gentle Ben.
Ron clarified that his father “taught me dialogue, especially during the years of the Andy Griffith Show.”
The great thing he did was that he taught me strong, solid acting principles. My father taught me how to act.
Rance also submitted a script to “The Andy Griffith Show.”
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Rance, who appeared on the Griffith Show in many episodes, including “Cousin Virgil,” “A Black Day for Mayberry,” “Barney and the Governor” and “The Rumor,” even contributed to an episode of the “The Ball Game.” series.
The episode “was based on real life. My father even wrote the story for it.” which appeared in the seventh season of the series. My father even wrote the story for it.
Andy runs a softball game for Opie in the episode and calls out his own son. Opie – and Ron – have not been pleased with their dads.
“That had happened to me and my dad,” Howard told Larry King in 2013. He called me to a home ball game, which was my birthday.
But I couldn’t believe that he’d called me out!
“My father thought it was funny that I was so excited about it. He took Andy [Griffith] with the idea and they made an episode out of it.
Why was Rance far from the cast of ‘Happy Days’?
“My Days: Happy and Otherwise,” star Marion Ross explained in her memoir, “Happy Days” that Rance remained very much on the side of his son.
His father stayed close to him, particularly at the beginning of the series, when Ron was just entering young adulthood.
Ross, who also appeared after “Gilmore Girls” in “Happy Days,” noted that Ron “was very serious about his future” and that his father had “inherited that seriousness” from him.
“Rance, she said, “was very businesslike when it came to Happy Days with Ron’s job. He made a point of staying away from the performers and always just quietly observed everything that was going on.”
The reason, Ross says, was that he apparently didn’t want his son to get into any shenanigans with other cast members after hours. He made sure “that in those first years of Happy Days, as soon as we were done each night, it was back home to Burbank for Ron.”
His father “didn’t want to hear about his son going to parties and getting into any child actor nonsense.” even though Ron was already of age.
The directing credits of Ron Howard for hundreds of famous and profitable box office films, as well as his Best Director Oscar for A Beautiful Mind in 2001, are evidence that his father knew what he was doing.