Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Ron Howard has been a household name almost as long as the 70 years he’s lived. The Hollywood heavyweight has been going nonstop in film and television, a career he started as a toddler.

In addition to his impressive career, the multiple award winner – who also demonstrates longevity in his personal life – has been married to his wife Cheryl for almost half a century.

Keep reading to learn more about Howard, his decades-long career and marriage!

On March 1, 1954 in Duncan, Oklahoma, Ronald Howard, a future Hollywood legend was born.

Howard was only 18 months old when he appeared in his first film, Frontier Woman, and when he was two, he made his stage debut in The Seven Year Itch.

Soon after the freckle-faced redhead started his celebrity journey with his role on The Andy Griffith Show (1960 to 1968).

In this time, when the little boy played Opie, the son Griffith’s character, Howard had the full support of his parents, who were both in the entertainment industry.

“Remember how we always said, ‘You can do it if you want, but you don’t have to?’ Well if you start this, you can’t quit’,” said Howard, recalling a conversation he had with his parents decades before. “You don’t have to do other parts on other shows, if you don’t want, but you’d have to keep doing this one.”

Explaining that he understood the message his parents were delivering, Howard adds, “I think it was pretty clear at that point that I was enjoying it, and I was good at it.”

Actually, he was great at it, and he was about to reach a level of stratospheric stardom.

Howard’s ‘Happy Days’

While starring in The Andy Griffith Show, Howard also appeared on the big screen in 1962’s The Music Man, a musical film that was a huge commercial success.

A natural talent, he then starred in 1973’s American Graffiti, which also starred Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss and Cindy Williams, whom he would work alongside in the future

It was in 1974 when he was cast as Richie Cunningham in a new series created by Garry Marshall called Happy Days, which appeared on TV screens in homes across the world from 1974 to 1984.

The TV show spawned a few popular spin-offs like Laverne & Shirley, starring Williams and Marshall’s sister Penny, and Mork & Mindy with Robin Williams as Mork, the favorite Orkan.

High school sweetheart

It was in 1970 – before he won a Golden Globe for his performance as the innocent teenager on Happy Days – that Howard met the high school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley, whom he would marry in 1975.

“I met her, and there was never anybody else,” Speaking with People, the director of the Da Vinci Code continued, “She’s unbelievably supportive and always has been. Our compatibility has endured through all kinds of experiences.”

After 50 years of shared experiences, Howard, who earned an Oscar for directing A Beautiful Mind, commemorated the 50th anniversary of his first date with Cheryl on Instagram.

“Nov 1 1970 Cheryl & I went on our 1st date,” he wrote alongside a photo of himself wearing socks with images of Cheryl’s face. “We went to see a re-release of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad World and then got some pizza at now defunct Barnone’s in Toluca Lake. Quite a start, right?”

He also shared their plans that day, “We’ll be driving in the same ‘70 VW Bug I picked Cheryl up in 5 decades ago. It runs great. So do we.”

His ‘good luck charm’

Cheryl made several cameos in Howard’s projects and even played herself on the TV comedy series Arrested Development, produced and narrated by Howard.

Speaking with the Television Academy, Ron called Cheryl his “good luck charm,” and explained that is why she appears in every film he makes.

“At a certain point, I became very superstitious about making sure that she appears, that she’s at least identifiable in one frame,” he said. “They don’t have to be big cameos, but she’s gotta be in there.”

In addition to bringing her husband some luck, Cheryl is also a published author who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in screenwriting.

The power couple are grandparents to six children and the parents of four, daughter Bryce, twins Paige and Jocelyn and son Reed.

Ron Howard and his actress daughter Bryce Dallas Howard. Credit: David Livingston / Getty.

Bryce – a recognizable actor – is known for roles in movies like Jurassic World and The Help, while Paige made her feature film debut in the 2009 movie Adventureland. Since she’s appeared in films The Employer and Collection.

Reed is a professional golfer and Paige’s twin sister Jocelyn is very private.

The secret to longevity

Nearing their 49th anniversary on June 7, the Emmy Award-winning producer shares that “communication” is the secret to their enduring love.

Credit: Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Getty.

“People say, ‘How’d you do it?’ There’s no technique,” Howard tells People. “There’s no tactic, other than communication is really important. You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways. Beyond that, there’s an element of luck because people either grow together or they don’t and I don’t think you can force that.”

What is your favorite film or TV series that’s connected with this incredibly talented man?

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