Sound On Sight Radio #119 – Ron `Richie Cunningham` Howard

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Ron Howard has the kind of face that some people want to punch. No matter how much hair he loses, or how much facial hair he grows, he will always be known as Opie Taylor, or as Richie Cunningham. At age six, he was already an accomplished television veteran, picked to play Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show” where he stayed on for eight years. In 1973, Howard became a bona fide star with the success of the movie “American Graffiti.” He played Steve Bolander in the George Lucas-directed film, which helped kick-start a 1950s revival. Due to Howard’s stardom (and the nostalgia boom), ABC brought “Happy Days” to the air where Howard starred as Richie Cunningham, the innocently charming boy next door. After directing several episodes of Happy Days, Howard could still not find any major studio to entrust a feature film to the 23-year-old. That is, until Roger Corman came along and struck a deal in which he would let Ron Howard direct a film with the agreement that he also star in it. The eventual film, “Grand Theft Auto,” was a first of many he would go on to direct. From “Happy Days” to “Apollo 13,” from “Splash” to “A Beautiful Mind,” Ron Howard, love him or hate him, is the poster boy for the Academy Awards. He has earned several nominations as well as winning Best Director and Best Picture citations. He has forever stamped his gigantic forehead and ridiculous beard on the A-list of Hollywood film makers.

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