At the age of only 5-years-old, Ron Howard’s career was skyrocketed by the portrayal of “Opie.” This was only the beginning of his career, but the surprising thing was the fact that he had an acting career before he could even speak properly!
On the private side of things, Ron Howard’s celebrating forty-six years filled with love and affection with his partner in crime, Cheryl Howard.
Ron Howard became a star following his portrayal of “Opie” on The Andy Griffith Show at age 5. He continued his career in Hollywood by starring in Happy Days and became a very-well respected actor, as well as director. That’s more than 50 years from the day that they first went out!
Ron Finally decided to open up his relationship to the public!
The Career of Ron Howard
Ron got his first real role in acting when he was only 18 months of age. The movie in question was “Frontier Woman.” The next project was “The Seven Year Itch,” and Ron was only 2 years old at the time of filming. This was the catalyst for his career. After this movie, many other offers started coming in.
Movies weren’t the only projects Ron was participating in. In fact, he starred in a couple of TV shows as well! CBS’s “Playhouse 90” was one of these projects, and the producer, Leonard Sheldon, loved his acting. Leonard loved Howard’s acting so much that he invited him to act in his new series, “The Andy Griffith Show.”
The TV show became such a hit because of the way that the fictional families in the town of Mayberry were maintaining the moral code of the ’50s and the ’60s.
The series went on for nearly 9 years (8 seasons), and some people still love it even today.
Ron’s parents were constantly along his side, and they were very supportive of his career in acting. They advised him not to take roles in those kinds of shows, but once he started acting as Andy Taylor’s son, Opie, they changed their views on TV shows.
“Remember how we always said, ‘You can do it if you want, but you don’t have to?’ Well, if you start this, you can’t quit’,” Howard recalled his parents telling him. “You don’t have to do other parts on other shows if you don’t want, but you’d have to keep doing this one.”
Ron Howard in the Role of Opie
He understood what his parents wanted to tell him, but he knew that he loved acting and wanted to take on that path.
“I think it was pretty clear at that point that I was enjoying it, and I was good at it,” Howard stated.
Other actors were also impressed with Ron’s acting. Elinor Donahue “Ellie Walker – The Pharmacist,” who played 12 episodes in the show, remembers being baffled by Ron’s acting.
“Ron Howard was the best child actor I had worked with,” Elinor said. “He just had something,” she added.
“He always knew his lines. He knew your lines as well,” she added. “Not the least bit bratty or ‘know-it-all’ or anything,” said Donahue. “A very nice boy.”
Oftentimes handling young kids on set is a pain in the backside. But according to other actors, that wasn’t the case with Ron Howard at all!
Howard spoke about his relationship with Andy Griffith in the show.
“You know, they always have the kids in situation comedies be brats,” said the actor. “They really are kids that you kind of think, ‘God, somebody ought to just discipline that kid.’ But the Andy-Opie relationship was more of a real relationship, where when the kid gets out of line, the father does something about it.
“And the kid respects the father instead of being just a wise guy all the time. And Andy really took to that, and it’s one of the things that differentiates it from what we’re accustomed to seeing on sitcoms.”
Everything Didn’t Go as Expected
After scoring a role in such a big TV series, you might think that a kid is going to get famous in school for doing so. But this couldn’t be further from what happened in Ron Howard’s case.
He opened up about his life in his 2012 biography, where he revealed that being a child actor was a very embarrassing thing for him.
“Among my peers, I was embarrassed to be an actor,” remembered the actor. “It was not something to be talked about.
“The Andy Griffith Show was the No. 1 show in the country, so I always knew there was something that I could do that was unusual and that I could function in an adult environment.
“I was the butt of a lot of jokes,” he added. “My character’s name, Opie, rhymes with dopey… I’d have to get into fights with people.”
This was a bad thing simply because of the fact that bullying is bad. But if the bullies get to you, it can be career-ending in many cases. Happily, Howard was a pretty resilient kid, and he didn’t let it affect his path.
Two Academy Awards
“Fortunately, I could sort of hang in,” Howard said. “I used to really spend a lot of time hanging around with the crew. The crew would get a real kick showing me what they did.”
The show was just the starting point for the kid. After that, he realized he loved acting, so he continued doing it. And, what’s more important, the acting got Ron into directing, and that’s where he found his true love.
“Deed of Deering-Do” was his first project as a director. It was a three-minute film that he directed at the age of 15. This small step led to him winning two Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for the movie “A Beautiful Mind.”
Ron stated: “I was an actor who dreamed of being a director,”
He’s 67m years old now, and alongside his beautiful and successful career, he has his wife and children.
It’s not uncommon to see celebrities getting married, divorcing, and getting re-married again with someone else. But Ron and Cheryl went through everything together.
Howard and Cheryl got to meet while Howard was going to John Burroughs High School, located in Burbank, CA. It was love at first sight. Then, as Ron explains it, they developed a unique connection: “there was never anybody else.”
Ron Howard recalled their first date in an Instagram post he posted last year. It was a throwback to more than 40 years ago, on November 1st, 1970.
“We went to see a re-release of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad World and then got some pizza at now defunct Barnone’s in Toluca Lake. Quite a start, right?” said the actor.
Relationships developed in high school are pretty hard to hold on to. It’s because everybody has different dreams and aspirations. But Ron and Cheryl didn’t find it hard at all. They didn’t have any obstacles.
Cheryl turned her attention to writing and publishing books while Ron was acting. Cheryl wrote many famous books like: “Tell Me A Story,” “Heart and Desire,” and “Face of Jinn.”
“As a child, I was consumed with adventure stories, fairy tales, and real-life accounts of people who had traveled around the globe,” Cheryl explained on her website’s bio. “I didn’t start writing until the age of 22, and English was never my strong point, but I do, dearly, love a good yarn. Especially if afterward, I’m just a little more aware of the world around me.”
Back when they started dating, Ron couldn’t take his mind off of moviemaking. He even got his family and even his then-girlfriend to star in his movies.
“I did a live-action with my dad who’s an actor, my brother Clint – who’s an actor – and I needed a [third]. It was a kind of Western thing,” Ron Howard told Observer. “I cheated. I got to sneak on the backlot of a Western set at a studio. And I needed a saloon girl, so I said, ‘Cheryl, do you want to be the saloon girl?’”
“We hadn’t been dating that long, but she came,” he added. “All she had to do was stand off to the side and kind of wink while these two had this goofy showdown. Anyway, I came in second,” Ron added. “That felt pretty lucky.”
The pair got married in 1975, and in 1981 they welcomed their first baby, a daughter by the name of Bryce. Four years after their first child, they welcomed their twin daughters Paige and Jocelyn. Finally, in 1987, they welcomed their son Reed.
“I felt really lucky when we met. It’s crazy — we were teenagers, it shouldn’t have worked. We got married young, that shouldn’t have worked either, and yet it really and truly has,” stated the actor back in 2013.
“Communication is really important,” he added.
This June, the pair celebrated 46 years of being married to each other, and in November, they celebrated more than 50 years of knowing each other and from their first date.
When asked what the secret to their long relationship was, Ron said that, according to him, communication is the best tool in a relationship. It’s what has kept their relationship going despite the ups and downs.
“You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways,” says Howard. “Beyond that, there’s an element of luck because people either grow together or they don’t, and I don’t think you can force that.”
Forever in Love!
There’s nothing more important than family to both Cheryl and Ron. Despite their successful careers, they’ve never sacrificed the time spent with their families.
“She’s unbelievably supportive and always has been,” said Ron about his wife. “Our compatibility has endured through all kinds of experiences.”