Actor Rance Howard, father to Ron Howard, dies at 89

Rance Howard

A Beautiful Mind and Nebraska actor Rance Howard, father of director Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 25. He was 89 years old.

Ron Howard made the announcement on his Twitter account.

“Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons,” he wrote. “Today he passed at 89. He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/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 is also the grandfather of actress Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard.

Rance Howard was born in Oklahoma on Nov. 17, 1928. He acted in a touring children’s theater when he was a child and, when he was an adult, went on to tour with Henry Fonda in the stage presentation of Mister Roberts, according to the Turner Classic Movies archives.

Howard first appeared on screen in 1956, playing a supporting role in a western entitled Frontier Woman. In total, he appeared in 280 separate projects — according to his IMDB page — including Splash, Parenthood, Ed Wood, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Cinderella Man.

He also had a career in television, playing reoccurring characters in Baywatch, Seinfeld and Married with Children.

Rance was married to Jean Speegle Howard, who was Ron and Clint’s mother, until she passed away in 2000. He remarried to journalist Judy Howard, who passed away earlier this year.

Rance Howard
credit: Youtube

“He’s had a 65-year career where he has never broken out as a movie star,” Bryce Dallas Howard said about Rance Howard earlier this month at the Broken Memories premiere, via People. “He’s never made the money that people dream of, and yet he’s carved out this incredibly unique and remarkable and beautiful career of a character actor. He’s an example of that stick-to-it-ness and what that adds up to in a life.”

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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.