Family & Companions
Rance Howard was a prolific screen actor who appeared in several dozen film and TV shows in a professional acting career that spanned over 60 years. Born in Duncan, Oklahoma as Harold Rance Beckenholdt, Howard always dreamt of becoming a professional actor. After spending three years in the United States Air Force, where he fathered his first son Ron (who would later go on to become an Oscar-winning film director and notable TV actor), Howard moved to New York City to pursue his acting dream in earnest. He initially gravitated towards the theater and in 1950 nabbed a role in a touring production of "Mister Roberts." That role put him in the sights of various Hollywood casting agents, and by the mid-1950s he was appearing on TV shows like "Zane Grey Theater" (CBS, 1956-61), "Death Valley Days" (Syndication, 1952-70), and the film "The Music Man." In the early 1960s Howard's son Ron nabbed the part of Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68), with Rance also going on to guest star on five episodes of the widely popular series. Howard continued nabbing parts throughout the 60s and 70s, most notably in the classic film dramas "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) and "Chinatown" (1974), as well as his son Ron's 1977 directorial debut "Grand Theft Auto," which Rance co-wrote with his son. Howard would go on to appear in many more of his son Ron's films throughout the ensuing decades, including "Splash" (1984), "Apollo 13" (1995), and "A Beautiful Mind" (2001), which earned Ron Howard his first Oscar for Best Director. By the late 2000s Howard had racked up over 250 film and TV credits and despite being in his 80s showed no signs of slowing down. His most notable film role during this later period came in 2013 when he appeared in Alexander Payne's Oscar-nominated drama "Nebraska" (2013). A tireless worker, Rance Howard was appearing in films and TV shows right up to his death on November 25, 2017 at the age of 89.
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Writer (Feature Film)
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Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Was the resident director at The Hilltop Theatre in Baltimore
Made film-acting debut as Prewitt in "Frontier Woman"
Cast with son Ron Howard in "The Journey"
Appeared alongside his son Ron on "The Andy Griffith Show"
Was a series regular on "Gentle Ben"
Co-starred in TV movie "Locusts"
Co-wrote and appeared in Ron Howard's debut, "Grand Theft Auto"
Re-teamed with son Ron in "Splash"
Played a dectective in Ron Howard's "Cocoon"
Co-starred in "Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter"
Played a reverend in Ron Howard's "Apollo 13"
Played a chaplain in blockbuster alien flick "Independence Day"
Was cast as an investor in Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!"
Had a recurring role on "Babylon 5"
Appeared in Rob Reiner's historical drama "Ghosts of Mississippi"
Appeared in Ron Howard's live-action remake "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
Appeared in son Ron's Oscar-winning biographical drama "A Beautiful Mind"
Played a telegraph operator in Ron Howard's "The Missing"
Played a preacher in Jake Kasdan/Judd Apatow comedy "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"
Re-teamed with son Ron yet again for "Angels & Demons"
Appeared in Disney's "The Lone Ranger" reboot
Appeared on an episode of the rebooted "The X-Files"
Appeared in final role released during his lifetime, playing a man with Alzheimer's in "Broken Memories"