For more than 50 years, Ron Howard has been a fixture on our collective small and large screens. From child star and Golden Globe winning adult actor to Oscar winning director and producer, Howard celebrates his 62nd birthday today.
Since we don’t have a cake, we thought we’d share some of his work from the Warner Bros. Film Library covering all aspects of his phenomenal career. Happy Birthday Mr. Howard…
Five-year-old “Ronny” Howard made his big screen debut in this 1959 Cold War thriller starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. Our birthday boy is the cute little guy standing centerstage.
Over the next three years, Howard would appear in numerous television series, including The Twilight Zone and Dennis the Menace, and in 1962 he played Shirley Jones’ brother, Winthrop Paroo, in the classic film, The Music Man. The little redhead is pictured here between Jones and Paul Ford, along with Hermione Gingold.
Starting in 1960, the budding star was becoming a household name as Opie Taylor in the hit series, The Andy Griffith Show. Then in 1963 he appeared with screen icon Glenn Ford, pictured above, and again with Shirley Jones in the romantic comedy—later to become a popular television series—The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. As Eddie, the nine-year-old Howard played matchmaker for his widowed father with often humorous results.
In 1973, a 19-year-old Howard starred in the George Lucas classic American Graffiti which led to his iconic role as Richie Cunningham during 11 seasons on the memorable TV series, Happy Days, for which he won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical in 1978. By this time, Howard had already begun his move behind the camera, and in 1982, he directed Happy Days’ co-star Henry (“Fonzie”) Winkler in the criminally underrated comedy Night Shift, which also introduced future stars Michael Keaton and Shelley Long to movie audiences.
In 1986, Howard and producer Brian Grazer founded their television/film production company Imagine Entertainment. And in 1988 they produced the powerful drama Clean and Sober with Warner Bros., starring Michael Keaton in his first dramatic role that turned more than a few heads and established him as a bonafide star.
In 2001, the versatile Howard even voiced the straight-as-an-arrow Tom Colonic in this animated comedy, which has gone on to become a cult favorite.
Once again at the production helm, Howard and Glazer’s Imagine produced this 2014 real-life drama starring Reese Witherspoon as an employment agency counselor who is tagged with helping a group of Sudanese refugees adapt to their new lives in America.
And wrapping up our birthday presentation, Howard took his director’s chair to the high seas last year in this seafaring adventure about the true story that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Already available on Digital HD, In the Heart of the Sea arrives on Blu-ray and DVD March 8.