Clint Howard was born on April 20th 1959 in Burbank, California. Hailing from a showbiz family, his parents Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard were actors, and his older brother Ron Howard done OK for himself too!
At the age of two years old Howard began appearing in The Andy Griffith Show, then starring his older brother Ron. He played Leon, a toddler in a cowboy outfit who wandered around Mayberry and silently offered people a bite of his sandwich, to which they would respond “no, thank you”.
Howard also made an appearances in The Streets of San Francisco in the episode entitled “The House on Hyde Street”, and The Virginian as Tommy, the proud owner of a new litter of pups in the episode entitled “Melanie”.
In 1963, he appeared in Breaking Point in the role of four-year-old Mikey in the episode “The Gnu, Now Almost Extinct”. He also hit the big screen that year when he appeared in The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, he played a child party guest standing on a table at his birthday party, that Shirley Jones put an Indian headdress on his head.
In 1964 Howard played little Billy Taft, the nephew of Dr. Richard Kimble, in the season one episode of The Fugitive, “The Home is the Hunted.”
In 1966, Howard appeared as the powerful but childlike alien Balok in “The Corbomite Maneuver,” a season one episode of Star Trek: The Original Series.
Howard’s first prominent role was as a regular on the series Gentle Ben (1967–69). He also starred in an episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery as Herbie, a ten-year-old boy who predicts the near future, and played Billy in the made-for-TV version of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, with Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara.
Further big screen appearances included being the voice of Roo in Disney’s animated shorts Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968). He also voiced Hathi’s son Hathi Jr. in 1967’s The Jungle Book.
“One of my earliest memories is being inside the recording studio and I see the shadow of a figure that looks an awful lot like Walt Disney. Then the door opened and Mr. Disney walked in and said, “Hi Clint”. I won’t ever forget that.”
Howard appeared in seventeen films directed by his brother, Ron Howard, including Ron’s first directorial effort—a short film called Old Paint—when Clint was ten. He also starred in Ron’s first full-length feature, Grand Theft Auto. Other roles include: John Dexter in Cocoon (1985), Paul in Gung Ho (both film and TV series), pathologist Ricco in Backdraft (1991), Lou in Parenthood, Flynn in Far and Away (1992), flight controller Seymour Liebergot in Apollo 13 (1995), Ken in EDtv (1999), and Whobris in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
Further roles included Sheriff Purdy in The Missing (2003), Lloyd Davis in Frost/Nixon (2008), Herbert Trimpy in The Dilemma, and Paul Lucas in the episodes “Spider” and “We Interrupt This Program” of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, which was produced by brother Ron. He played Eaglebaur in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, Usher in Get Crazy, Paco in The Waterboy, Arthur Lynne in Uwe Boll’s Heart of America, cellmate Slinky in Tango & Cash, CJZZ Disk Jockey in That Thing You Do!, Johnson Ritter in the Austin Powers series, another flight controller in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Nipples in Little Nicky (2000), Gregory Tudor in the low-budget film Ice Cream Man (1995), Rughead in The Wraith (1986), Stanley Coopersmith in Evilspeak (1981), Kate the Caterer in The Cat in the Hat, Doctor Koplenson in Halloween (2007), and appeared in the romantic comedies, Play the Game and Speed-Dating.
He also played Sanders in Alabama Moon and Dr. Owen in Nobody Gets Out Alive, which was written and directed by filmmaker Jason Christopher and was released nationwide on February 26th 2013. The film made rounds of the festival circuit in 2012, and won two best feature awards, a best director award and a best actor award.
Clint Howard remains active in film and TV and will no doubt dazzle us with many more weird and wonderful roles in the future.
“I do not attempt to orchestrate my career. I let God do that. I like horror movies. To me, they are a very legitimate place for an actor to work. It’s a great arena for me to experiment, to play a range of different funky characters. I like what I’m doing and I hope it shows on the screen. Acting is a great gig. It pays well, I get to meet some nice people and it allows me to play a lot of golf. I’m a real lucky guy.”
Categories: Heroes of Cult