Ronald William Howard was born March 1st, 1954 in Duncan, Oklahoma. He is the older of two brothers. His parents, Rance Howard his father was an actor, director and writer, his mother Jean Howard was an actress, in 1959 his family relocated to Hollywood. Young Ron quickly joined the family business and his first television role was on an episode of "Playhouse 90" and was followed by an appearance on "The Red Skelton Show." He also was in four episodes of "Denis the Menace" and five shows of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." (Encarta)
Ron has the face that refused to age. No matter how much of his hair he looses, or how much of a beard he grows, he continues to have a boyish charm. For some viewers he is always remembered as Opie Taylor and to others as Richie Cunningham, while the more populated group of the confused he is know as Opie Cunningham. (sitcomsonline)
The television producer Sheldon Leonard, who had seen Howard's performance in Barnaby and Mr. O'Mally, cast the actor in the "Andy Griffith Show" which began its eight years on CBS on October 3, 1960. The gentle and subtle comedy of the show was set in the sleepy town of Mayberry, North Carolina, and was centered on the daily lives of sheriff Andy Taylor (Griffith), his young son, Opie (Howard), Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), who was the live in housekeeper and Opei's surrogate mother, and Barney Fife (Don Knotts), Andy's deputy. The scenes between Andy and Opie were sensitively written by Ron's father with similarities of their relationship, some of Opeis lines were also written by his father.
Howard's parents intervened in certain ways in his life since he was a child star like making sure certain aspects of contracts said didn't say that he had to do promotional tours. When he was not working he was enrolled in public schools so he could interact with other kids his age. "In school I was a novelty at first," Howard told Edwin Miller....
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