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Ronald William "Ron" Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an American actor and filmmaker. Howard is best known for playing two high-profile roles in television sitcoms in his youth and directing a number of successful feature films later in his career.
Howard first came to prominence playing young Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years and later playing teenager Richie Cunningham in the sitcom Happy Days for seven years. He appeared in the musical film The Music Man (1962), the comedy film The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963), the coming of age film American Graffiti (1973), the western film The Shootist (1974), and the comedy film Grand Theft Auto (1977), which he also directed. He also appeared in the television show Bonanza (season 14, episode 4, 1972) .
In 1980, Howard 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) (earning him the Academy Award for Best Director), and the thriller The Da Vinci Code (2006).
In 2002, Howard narrated the Fox comedy series, Arrested Development, on which he would also serve as producer 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. Howard has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions in the television and motion pictures industries.