Ron Howard in 2013.
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Ron Howard
Forecourt Ceremony held on Tuesday, March 23, 1999
Born: March 1, 1954, in Duncan, Oklahoma
Age at the time of the ceremony: 45
Ron Howard captured America's heart as a talented and delightful child actor, then, became America's favorite adolescent on Happy Days. He learned filmmaking at the Roger Corman studio and became a wildly successful director of bigscreen Hollywood fare.

Born into a showbiz family, Ron's father Rance was stationed in the Air Force at the time of his son's birth. When the lad was two, the family relocated to Hollywood. With Rance getting roles on television shows, Ron and brother Clint received their schooling in the studio classrooms. The family moved to Burbank, where Ron and Clint went to high school.

Father Rance got Ron his first role in a film about Davy Crockett's daughter Frontier Woman (released in July 1956) with Cindy Carson, and Ron did an episode of Playhouse 90 "Dark December" with Warren Beatty, aired over CBS in April 1959. Now five-years-old, he played a friend to a younger version of Gig Young in "Walking Distance," an episode of The Twilight Zone aired over CBS in October 1959.

He was a regular cast member as neighborhood friend Stewart beginning with the second episode of Dennis the Menace aired over CBS from October 1959, to May 1960. At the same time, he did four episodes on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis aired over CBS from December 1959 to June 1961.

"Ronny" Howard debuted as Opie Taylor with Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor on an episode of Make Room for Daddy with Danny Thomas, aired over CBS in February 1960; the show was so successful that producer Thomas spun it off into its own money-maker, The Andy Griffith Show. Howard appeared in all 224 episodes as Opie, aired over CBS from October 1960 to April 1968,

During hiatus from Andy Griffith, Howard scored bigtime playing Winthrop Paroo in the film of The Music Man (released in June 1962) with Robert Preston, and went on to play Eddie in The Courtship of Eddie's Father (released in March 1963) with Glenn Ford, but he didn't even make the poster.

With Andy Griffith off the air, and himself turning 14, Howard sunk into the wolrd of television guest-starring: The F.B.I. aired over aired over ABC in October 1968, Land of the Giants aired over ABC in March 1969, Gentle Ben aired over CBS in April 1969 with Dennis Weaver, and Lassie aired over CBS in November 1970 with Bruce Bennett.

He took the role of "Bob Smith," son to Herny Fonda in all 39 episodes of The Smith Family aired over ABC from January 1971 to June 1972. Then came the call which would change everything for the now 18-year-old Howard.

He played "Steve" in one of the most massively popular films of the early 1970s: American Graffiti (released in August 1973) with Richard Dreyfuss. America so loved Ron Howard as a teenager that when he starred as 1950s teenager Ritchie Cunningham, Happy Days aired over ABC from January 1974 to May 1984, it became one of the top-rated shows on television. Howard dropped out of the show in 1980, but would continue to appear as a guest.

Meanwhile, Howard went to Roger Corman Land to headline in the chase film Eat My Dust (released in April 1976) with Christopher Norris. On a slightly higher level, he played Lauren Bacall's son in The Shootist (released in August 1976) with John Wayne. Returning to Roger Corman, he and his father Rance wrote a script which became Ron's first directing job as well as headling in Grand Theft Auto (released in June 1977) with Nancy Morgan, which became a runaway hit.

The same couldn't be said about More American Graffiti (released in August 1979), which is probably still sitting on a shelf — somewhere.

As a director, Howard has shown an uncanny ability to cook up films audiences will show up for. His track record as a director is impressive. It begins with Night Shift (which played the Chinese in July 1982) with Michael Keaton. He dug up a story written by Brian Grazer (who would produce) about a man falling in love with a mermaid, which became Splash (released in March 1983) with Tom Hanks, then directed Cocoon (released in June 1985) with Don Ameche. All wildly popular.

His film Gung Ho (released in March 1986) with Michael Keaton, sort of underperformed, but by now, Howard joined with Brian Grazer to open Imagine Entertainment and teamed up with Lucasfilm to make the fantasy Willow (released in May 1988) with Val Kilmer; from then on, almost all of Howard's projects are done under the Imagine banner.

Howard was on a roll: the comedy Parenthood (released in August 1989) with Steve Martin, the fire-fighting story Backdraft (released in May 1991) with Kurt Russell, and the Irish immigration picture Far and Away (released in May 1992) with Tom Cruise and Nichole Kidman, were only preludes to what might be considered Howard's best film:

Apollo 13 (released in June 1995) with Tom Hanks, is a nail-biting tribute to how resourceful people can becomne when in a tight corner. Later, Howard embraced the whole green-screen CGI bag with How the Grinch Stole Christmas (released in November 2000) with Jim Carrey.

Howard won the Oscar for directing A Beautiful Mind (released in December 2001) with Russell Crowe. Howard and Grazer's Imagine Entertainment developed and Howard serves as the narrator for 75 episodes of Arrested Development aired over the Fox Network from November 2003 to May 2018.

Imagine also made the stylish film of the wildly popular novel The Da Vinci Code (released in May 2006) with Tom Hanks. He directed the historical drama Frost / Nixon (released in December 2008) with Frank Langella, and the comedy The Dilemma (released in January 2011) with Vince Vaughn, and the formula one racing picture Rush (released in September 2013) with Chris Hemsworth.

Telling the real story behind the writing of Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea (which played the Chinese in December 2015) again with Chris Hemsworth, became Howard's first real flop, but he bounced back with another Da Vinci Code film, Inferno (released in October 2016) with Tom Hanks. Everyone knows that Howard stepped in at the last minute to drect Solo: A Star Wars Story (which played the Chinese in May 2018) with Alden Ehrenreich. Howard directed the documentary Pavarotti (released in December 2019. He directed Hillbilly Elegy with Amy Adams and Glenn Close, streaming over Netflix in November 2020. He directed Thirteen Lives with (releaseed in August 2022).
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Ron Howard Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Tuesday, March 23, 1999. 49 x 43 inches.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Ron Howard Forecourt ceremony, Tuesday, March 23, 1999. Ron Howard stands in the wet cement and throws back to his son Reed. Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer stands behind Reed. Photo by Lisa Rose.
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