Ronald William "Ron" Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an American film director, producer, and actor, best known for playing two high-profile roles in television sitcoms in his childhood and early adulthood, and for directing a number of feature films later in his career.
He first came to prominence playing young Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later teenager Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for six years. Meanwhile, he appeared in the musical film The Music Man (1962), the coming of age film American Graffiti (1973), the western The Shootist (1976), and the comedy Grand Theft Auto (1977), which he also directed.
In 1980 he left Happy Days to focus on directing. His films include the science-fiction/fantasy film Cocoon (1985), the historical docudrama Apollo 13 (1995), the biographical drama A Beautiful Mind (2001) (which earned him the Academy Award for Best Director), and the thriller The Da Vinci Code (2006). In 2002, Howard conceived the Fox/Netflix comedy series Arrested Development, on which he would also serve as producer and narrator, and play a semi-fictionalized version of himself.
In 2003, Howard was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Asteroid 12561 Howard is named after him. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2013.