7 Fun Facts About Actor/Director Ron Howard as He Turns 70

Ron Howard collage; Andy Griffith, Happy Days, 2024
Everett Collection; Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for AFI

Ron Howard began his career as a child star and in recent years, he has shined as a director in some big projects. He has certainly left his mark on Hollywood and at 70 years old, continues to showcase his talents. He is perhaps best known for playing Richie Cunningham in the series Happy Days and developed some lifelong friendships from the show. After Happy Days ended, he decided to focus more on directing, although he has been known to show off his acting chops now and again. Howard turns 70 years old on March 1 and has his first animated feature, The Shrinking of Treehorn, slated to come out on Netflix later this year. Let’s celebrate with some fun facts about the star!

Can you remember his directorial debut?

Grand Theft Auto Ron Howard, Nancy Morgan, 1977

New World Pictures/Everett Collection

His very first time directing was in the lo-budget film Grand Theft Auto in 1977 produced by Roger Corman. He also starred in the film and co-wrote it with his dad. His first big theater debut was Night Shift (1982) which starred fellow Happy Days star Henry Winkler.

His career began as a baby

The Andy Griffith Show Ron Howard, 1960-1968

Everett Collection

While many know that he starred as Opie on The Andy Griffith Show as a young kid, his first role was in the film Frontier Woman at the age of eighteen months.

He co-founded a film and television production company

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer attend the Tom Ford AW20 Show at Milk Studios on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Howard and Brian Grazer are the co-founders of Imagine Entertainment, which has brought to us films and TV shows such as A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile, The Nutty Professor, Felicity, Parenthood, and many, many more.

His family is big into the entertainment world

Dads director Bryce Dallas Howard, producer Ron Howard, on set, 2019

Apple TV+/Everett Collection

His father was actor Rance Howard, who he casts a lot along with older brother Clint, and several of his four children have gone into acting including the famous Bryce Dallas Howard. Howard and his daughter worked together on a documentary called Dads, which was Bryce’s directorial debut. Fun fact: All of his kids are named after the places they were conceived.

Howard and his wife have been together for almost 50 years

Ron Howard (L) and Cheryl Howard attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Howard and his wife Cheryl have been married since 1975. They met in high school and it was love at first sight even though he did appear on The Dating Game in 1971.

Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Howard once said, “I met her, and there was never anybody else. She’s unbelievably supportive and always has been. Our compatibility has endured through all kinds of experiences.” So sweet!

He was the voice of a popular sitcom

Arrested Development (from left): Jason Bateman, Ron Howard, 'The B. Team', (Season 4, ep. 404, aired May 26, 2013), 2013

Michael Yarish/Netflix/Everett Collection

Although he was only filling in on the pilot, Howard became the narrator and even made a cameo on the show Arrested Development.

He shared his top five favorite movies of all time

Ron Howard of 'Rebuilding Paradise' attends the IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 1 on January 24, 2020 in Park City, Utah

Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

In 2023, he revealed his favorite movies of all time including The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Emigrants (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).


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May 2021

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