Actor, director and producer Ron Howard appeared in his first movie, "Frontier Woman," when he was just 18 months old, and made his stage debut at the age of 2 in a production of "The Seven Year Itch." The child star began making frequent television appearances, and was subsequently cast opposite Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr and Jason Robards in 1959's "The Journey." His performance earned him regular roles on CBS's Playhouse 90, where he caught the eye of Sheldon Leonard, the producer behind the sitcom, "The Andy Griffith Show."
Howard first appeared as Andy Griffith's son, Opie, on "The Andy Griffith Show," a role that earned him nationwide fame. Throughout this early success, Howard's family provided a grounding influence and asserted that Howard should be able to experience his childhood. At his father's request, Howard maintained a public school education, and around this time, he began to dabble in amateur filmmaking with a Super-8 camera.
When "The Andy Griffith Show" ended in 1968, Howard followed it with 1971's "The Smith Family," where he starred opposite Henry Fonda. He then landed a role in "American Grafitti," George Lucas' seminal teen film. The movie spawned a 50s revival craze which, in turn, led to the hit show "Happy Days." The 1974 series featured Howard in its leading role, and his turn as Richie Cunningham elevated him to superstardom.
Ron Howard directed "Grand Theft Auto," which not only helped him to cut his chops behind the camera, but also spurred him to found his own company, Major H Productions. Three years later he inked a three-year deal with NBC, and produced and directed several programs for the network.
In 1982, he co-directed and produced "Night Shift," a dark comedy starring Howard's "Happy Days" co-star Henry Winkler. Howard and Grazer partnered again two years later for "Splash," the hit romantic comedy featuring Tom Hanks, Darryl Hannah and John Candy.
He and Grazer solidified their relationship in 1986, and the duo co-founded Imagine Films Entertainment. The company has been the powerhouse behind hits including the Howard-directed "Willow," "Parenthood," "Backdraft," "Apollo 13" and "Ransom."
In 1998, Howard began expanding his company's efforts to television productions with the drama, "Felicity," and the action/adventure drama show "24."
Howard produced "A Beautiful Mind" in 2002, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Director, an Academy Award for Best Picture, and a Golden Globe for Best Film. The next year, he worked as the anonymous narrator and executive producer for another television show—the heady comedy, "Arrested Development." The show was nominated for multiple awards, and won Howard an Emmy award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2004.
The next year Howard directed the boxing drama "Cinderella Man," which was nominated for more than 22 awards. He followed the critical success of the film with his blockbuster hit "The Da Vinci Code." The film grossed more than $750 million worldwide, and was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Howard received an Oscar nod for Best Director in 2008 for Frost/Nixon, a film exploring the post-Watergate TV interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. He is also the director of 2009's "Angels & Demons," the sequel to "The Da Vinci Code."
In 2013, Ron Howard produced "Rush," starring Chris Hemsworth.
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