Actor Rance Howard, father of director Ron Howard, dies at 89

Rance Howard, whose acting career spanned more 60 years in film and television, died Saturday. He was 89.

His son, director Ron Howard, reported on his father's passing in a late-afternoon tweet. Actors, writers and directors immediately tweeted tributes and condolences.

Rance Howard also is the father of actor Clint Howard and the grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard, who are Ron's daughters.

In his tweet, Ron Howard praised his father's character: "Clint and I have been blessed to be Rance Howard's sons. Today he passed at 89. He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition (with) great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad." 

Rance Howard has 280 acting credits on IMDb.com, the first coming in 1956, with roles in two 2018 projects that are listed in post-production. He appeared in many films directed by Ron Howard, including Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon and Parenthood.

Other film roles included Nebraska, Bloodworth, Angels & Demons and Chinatown. On TV, he appeared on such shows as Grey's Anatomy, Seinfeld, Happy Days and The Waltons.

According to IMDb.com, he and Ron share writing credit for 1977's Grand Theft Auto, Ron's feature film directing debut, and he has writing credits for Gentle Ben, a 1960s TV series that starred Clint Howard, and one for The Andy Griffith Show, where Ron gained acting fame playing sheriff's son Opie Taylor.

Rance Howard was married to Ron and Clint's mother, Jean Speegle Howard, until her death in 2000. Later, he married Judy Howard, who died in January.

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