Many celebrities grow up being around movie sets by due to being a part of a showbiz family; names like Drew Barrymore and Jeff Bridges come to mind. Among that exclusive list is director Ron Howard, who turns 65 years old today.
Early beginnings in television
Howard’s parents were both actors (his father Rance was also a writer and director), and his family moved to Hollywood when he was still young. It wasn’t long before he had short stints in many television shows, until he got his big break in The Andy Griffith Show playing the titular character’s son for all eight seasons from 1960-68.
He continued starring in television shows and films during his youth, his biggest stints being in pre-Star Wars George Lucas’ American Graffiti (1973) and The Shootist (1976) alongside John Wayne. In his acting career, he is best known as Richie Cunningham in Garry Marshall’s highly successful TV series Happy Days which ran for 11 seasons.
Transition to directing
After Happy Days, Howard made the switch from acting to directing, starting with his directorial debut Grand Theft Auto (1977). Other films followed such as Cocoon (1985), Parenthood (1989), and Backdraft (1991), and he reached incredible recognition for Apollo 13 (1995), based on the aborted 1970 NASA mission; Apollo 13 was nominated for nine Academy Awards (including Best Picture), winning two.
Other critically-acclaimed and award-winning films followed such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and Cinderella Man (2005), but undoubtedly his crowning glory was 2001’s A Beautiful Mind based on mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe) who suffered from schizophrenia; the film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director for Howard.
Howard continues to make blockbuster hits such as the Dan Brown films The Da Vinci Code (2006), Angels & Demons (2009), and Inferno (2016) where he reunited with actor Tom Hanks, Frost/Nixon (2008), Rush (2013), In the Heart of the Sea (2015), and most recently the Star Wars anthology film Solo (2018).
With such a big filmography that is usually associated with history and biopics, we hope Howard remembers to celebrate his own birthday, and we can’t wait to see what his latest project will be!