Ron Howard, director of “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13” sorrowfully announced his father’s death on Saturday, November 25th. His father, actor Rance Howard, passed away at age 89, said his son via Twitter.
“Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons. Today he passed at 89,” Ron, 63, tweeted, referring to his brother Clint Howard, who is also an actor. “He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad.”
Rance started his career when he was only 20, said People. He didn’t begin as a movie actor; his first gig was with a touring theater company. He acted alongside Henry Fonda in the play “Mister Roberts,” playing the role of Lindstrom across the country for a year and a half.
Later, Rance had roles in several major films, including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Psycho,” “A League of Their Own,” and more. His son Ron, who got his own start as Opie on “The Andy Griffith Show,” also cast his father in many of his films, including “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “Cinderella Man.”
Rance married actress Jean Speegle Howard in 1949. She was Ron and Clint’s mother. They were married until her death in 2000. He then married journalist Judy Howard; she passed away in 2017. Rance is also a grandfather to actresses Bryce Dallas and Paige Howard.
Earlier this month, Bryce Dallas praised her grandfather at the “Broken Memories” premiere. She said she admired how he stuck to acting despite never really hitting it big.
“He’s had a 65-year career where he has never broken out as a movie star,” she said, adding, “he’s never made the money that people dream of, and yet he’s carved out this incredibly unique and remarkable and beautiful career of a character actor. He’s an example of that stick-to-it-ness and what that adds up to in a life.”
Please pray for the Howard family as they deal with the loss of their father and grandfather.