Known for playing the redhead Opie Taylor on the 1960s TV program "The Andy Griffith Show," Ron Howard first rose to fame as an actor, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981.
By the age of 23, Howard transitioned from a child star to director of his first feature film, "Grand Theft Auto." He later directed other popular movies including "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons."
Over 30 years and several hit movies later, Howard was presented with another star on the Walk of Fame — this one for his contributions to film. In his most recent work, Howard helped direct a National Geographic science documentary series, "Breakthrough."
"My hope is that, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, you'll look back and you'll say, 'Oh, look who is in that documentary,'" Howard said about the series in an interview with The Times. "Somebody who was a breakthrough genius and [had] the wisdom, the good fortune, that you find that person in motion."
Howard, whose parents were actors, was on the stage from an early age, taking part in his father's summer theater productions. He was 6 when he began playing Opie, a role he inhabited until the show's conclusion after eight seasons and he was 14.
"That inclusiveness that allowed a child to truly be a part of something as unique and memorable as 'The Andy Griffith Show' is something I will forever be grateful for," Howard wrote in a first-person essay for The Times.
After appearing in George Lucas' seminal 1973 film "American Graffiti," the 20-year-old Howard was cast as teenager Richie Cunningham on "Happy Days." During that show's run, Howard began directing, and in 1977 made his feature film directorial debut. In 1980, he left "Happy Days" and started directing television feature films under an exclusive three-year contract with NBC.
It was then that he met Brian Grazer, an up-and-coming producer with whom he started collaborating at Paramount. Together they came up with the idea for "Night Shift," a comedy about a prostitution ring being run out of a morgue. The movie reunited Howard with "Happy Days" actor Henry Winkler. In 1986, Grazer and Howard formed their own production company, Imagine Entertainment.
Howard's next film, also produced by Grazer, was the hit mermaid romance "Splash," starring Tom Hanks. He went on to direct "Cocoon," "Gung Ho," "Parenthood," "Backdraft" and "Far and Away."
Three years later, he found major success with "Apollo 13," which starred Hanks as one of the astronauts involved in the 1970 NASA moon mission that went dangerously awry. The film earned nine Academy Awards nominations, including one for best picture.
In 2001, he received a best director Oscar for his work on "A Beautiful Mind," starring Russell Crowe. The movie also won that year’s prize for best picture.
In recent years, Howard has received a National Medal of Art, presented by then-President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. In 2013, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
|2001||Best Picture||A Beautiful Mind||Win*|
|2001||Best Director||A Beautiful Mind||Win|