Clothing and Costumes Worn by Child Actors: Ronnie Howard - (U.S., 1955- )

Figure 1.--This is a publicity shot of Ronnie as he might have appeared on the andy Griffith set. The series was shot in black and white for severl years. Thus the american public did not know about his bright red hair. Here he lokks to be about 8-9 years old, meaning it was taken about 1964. He always wore contemprary fashions in the series, often T-shirts and jeans. His performances in the first years of the series was nothing short of magical. As he grew older he lot that magic, but was always a very competent performer. Very early on he became interested in the technology and techniques of TV and movie making which led to his directing career.

Red haired freckled-faced Ronny played the unforgettable little Opie, the sheriff's son on the 'Andy Griffith Show' (1960-68). Few boys so captured the hearts of the American television audience. We consider him to be one of the best child stars ever. Ronnie's performances were magical with none of the bratty taste often given by kid TV actors. We all watched Opie grow up before us. He was such a good natured, but energetic little boy. Unfortunately, he never had any particularly interesting episodes about costuming. Ron described his boyhood acting and explained he never had any adjustment problems because he wasn't allowed to have a swelled head. One of his parents were always with him on the set and they didn't stand for any foolishness. If he misbehaved he was punished. He said he recalled once after misbehaving (he didn't explain what he did), his father gave him a spanking right there on the set. He said there was a strained silence after the spanking. Finally Andy Griffith whispered to him, "You know Ronnie, you really deserved that!" His best movie role was as Winthrop in 'The Music Man' (1962). He vey ably played his role. His period costume was knee-length pants and long black stockings -- the only period costume we ever saw him wear. As he matured, he was one of the few child stars able to make the transition to teenage roles. After he left the "Andy Griffith Show" with Andy in 1968 he played some teenage movie parts. In "The Wild Country" (19??) he played the older brother in a city family that moved on to a farm. Nothing of special interest, except for their mother who wanted the boys to stay mannerly and innocent. He appeared as a sensitive teenager trying to come to terms with his new stepfather in 'Smoke' (1970), which he did very well. He played a teenager again in the classic, 'American Graffiti' (1973) which led to another hit TV show. He played teenager Richie Cunningham on 'Happy Days' (1974- ), well after his teenage years had passed because of his youthful appearance. He was involved in 'Huckleberry Finn' (1975), I'm not sure as an actor or director. He appeared again, still as a teenager, in 'More American Graffiti' (1977). Ronny went own to play young adults in movies and has become a respected director.


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Created: 7:02 PM 11/13/2015
Last updated: 7:02 PM 11/13/2015