Ron Howard

Widely known as an American actor, writer, director and producer, Ron Howard's wide range of directorial efforts, which include Splash" (1984), "Apollo 13" (1995), "Cinderella Man" (2005), and "Frost/Nixon" (2008), made him one of the rare filmmakers who consistently produced celebrated movies that are both critically-acclaimed and crowd-pleasing hits. Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, Howard began first came to prominence as a child actor in the 1960s. For eight seasons he played Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68), making him a recognizable face to the millions of viewers who watched the wholesome family comedy each week. Whereas most child actors putter out by the time they reach adulthood, Howard's acting career continued to blossom well into his 20s. In addition to starring in films like George Lucas's Oscar-nominated high school drama "American Graffiti" (1973), Howard was able to play an even bigger role on television when he was cast as the affable Richie Cunningham on the hit ABC comedy "Happy Days" (ABC, 1974-1984). After leaving "Happy Days" in 1980, Howard longed to be behind the camera directing movies. After directing the low budget film "Grand Theft Auto" in 1977, as well as a few other TV movies, Howard made his first big theatrical film in 1982 with "Night Shift." The film received mostly positive reviews, thus giving Howard the confidence he needed to continue making films for a living. Over the next two decades he would go on to make some of the most celebrated films of the 80s and 90s, including "Splash," "Cocoon" (1985), "Parenthood" (1989), "Backdraft" (1991), and "Apollo 13," the latter of which earned two Academy Awards. In 2002 Howard earned his first two Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for the biographical drama "A Beautiful Mind" (2001). He would later earn Oscar nods for Best Picture and Director for 2008's "Frost/Nixon." In addition to acting and film directing, Howard was also a noted TV producer. Of the various shows he produced throughout his career, the most notable was arguably the Emmy Award-winning comedy "Arrested Development" (Fox/Netflix, 2003- ), of which he also served as narrator. By 2019 Howard, 65, had been working in show business consistently for over half a century and showed no signs of slowing down. In addition to directing a documentary on the life of the Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, called simply "Pavarotti" (2019), he also had several other film projects in development, including a planned television adaptation of his classic 1988 fantasy film "Willow."