Birth Date: March 1, 1954 / Age: 59
Birth Place: Duncan, Oklahoma
Biography: Ronald William Howard (born March 1, 1954, in Duncan, Oklahoma) is an American actor, film director and producer of Dutch, Scottish, English, Irish, German and Cherokee Indian descent.
Ron Howard first obtained recognition as the child with the lisp in the movie The Music Man with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. His brother, Clint Howard, is a popular B-list actor. Ron's parents, Rance Howard and the late Jean Speegle Howard are also actors.
After The Music Man, he appeared in the role of Opie Taylor in the television series The Andy Griffith Show. There he portrayed the son of the local sheriff in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. The credits referred to him as Ronny Howard.
He attained film success with his role as Steve Bollander in George Lucas' teen movie American Graffiti.
Howard also is well known for his role as Richie Cunningham in television's Happy Days where he played the likeable foil to Henry Winkler's Fonz.
In 1977, while still starring on Happy Days, he directed his first film, a low budget comedy action film called Grand Theft Auto. After leaving Happy Days in 1980, he directed several TV movies. His big theatrical directing break came in 1982 when he directed the bigger budget film Night Shift featuring soon-to-be well-known actors such as Michael Keaton and Shelley Long.
He has since directed a number of high-visibility films, the most acclaimed of which include Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13 (nominated for several Academy Awards), and most notably A Beautiful Mind, for which he won the Oscar for Best Director.
He is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.
Most recently, Howard has returned to television as the executive producer and narrator of the critically acclaimed FOX sitcom Arrested Development. The show, despite having won five Emmy awards and near-unanimous praise from critics, has not enjoyed high ratings.
Howard married his high-school sweetheart, Cheryl, a writer, and they have been married for more than 30 years. Their daughter Bryce Dallas Howard is an actress.