Actor Rance Howard, Ron's Dad, Dies At Age 89

Ron Howard revealed this week that his father, legendary actor Rance Howard, had passed away.

The Inquisitr reported that the film director, who rose to fame portraying “Opie” on “The Andy Griffith Show,” made the announcement on Twitter. Referring to his brother, Ron Howard wrote: “Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons. … He stood especially tall (with) his ability to balance ambition (and) great personal integrity. A Depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad.”

Rance Howard was a Hollywood star who appeared in more than 270 movies and television shows, beginning in the 1950s and continuing until shortly before his death. He had roles in “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind,” each of which his son directed. Among the other films featuring the elder Howard were “Grand Theft Auto,” “Gung Ho,” and “Angels and Demons.” He was a familiar face on TV, with credits including “The Waltons,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Babylon 5.” He previously worked with his son on some episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show,” as well as “Happy Days.”

The first time Rance and Ron appeared together on screen was in 1956, when the younger Howard was an infant. “It was called ‘Frontier Woman,’ filmed in Mississippi, and about Daniel Boone’s daughter, Polly,” the father recalled during an interview with “The Oklahoman.” He explained: “Jean (his wife) also had a part, and we wanted to somehow get Ron into the picture, too. He was only 18 months old, but we thought it would be wonderful for our parents to see their grandson in a movie with us. … I’ve played doctors, judges, sheriffs. As a character actor, I’ve run the gamut. Someone checked and told me I’ve played more men of the cloth than any other actor.”

Rance Howard’s final appearance on the big screen was in the film “Broken Memories.” In an interview with the “Hollywood Reporter” before the actor’s death, his son called the performance the “role of his career.” Ron Howard continued: “He has an undying love of the process, which has made him appreciate every day on a film or television set. And he’s never lost the youthful excitement for being a part of a process that tells a story that reaches audiences in different ways and reflects the work of a team of collaborators that shares that excitement and that always rubbed off on me, that joy of being lucky enough to be among the storytellers.”

A number of Hollywood figures, including Russell Crowe and Leonard Maltin, praised Rance Howard on social media when they learned that he had died. J. Michael Straczynski, who created “Babylon 5,” wrote that the actor was “charming, professional, funny, smart,” adding: “If we could’ve adopted him, we would’ve. His loss diminishes us.” Director Joe Dante wrote: “I first met Rance while editing ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ and he eventually became one of my favorite go-to actors on numerous projects. A stand-up guy who worked ‘til the end.”

Source: Inquisitr
Photo: YouTube

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