The Truth About Ron Howard's Brother

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Ron Howard has enjoyed critical and commercial success for directing films such as "Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind," and "The Da Vinci Code." While the director may be best-known for collaborating with Tom Hanks, Ron's collaborations with his brother, Clint Howard, have been just as integral to his career. Both brothers got their start in Hollywood at an early age. Ron rose to fame playing Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show" in the '60s, while Clint worked on "Gentle Ben," per Entertainment Weekly. The two brothers decided to collaborate on a book titled "The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family," and it was Hanks who suggested the duo focus on their childhood.

Although he first made a name for himself acting, Ron found his true calling in Hollywood as a director and storyteller. When Ron was 15 years old, he cast his brother in a three-minute short film that earned him second place in a Kodak youth film contest, per the Los Angeles Times. That was the first of many times Ron would direct Clint. In fact, the younger Howard brother is more of a natural in front of the camera. "I do like to entertain people. I'm probably more of an entertainer than Ron personality-wise. It's sort of second nature to me," Clint told the Saturday Evening Post while promoting their new book.

Throughout the years, Clint appeared in so many of Ron's films that some fans believed the director always cast his brother, but it has not been that simple.

Why Ron Howard will sometimes not cast his brother

One of the highlights of Clint Howard's career was when he played NASA flight controller Sy Liebergot in "Apollo 13," which Ron Howard is famous for directing. "I'm very proud that I got to be in 'Apollo 13' ... I felt like that was really a privilege," Clint told in 2008. Clint was forthright with his older brother about wanting to be in the space drama. "I more than asked to be in the film–I told him," Clint recalled to the Los Angeles Times in 1995. "I knew I was perfect to play one of those NASA guys." The actor had appeared in many of his brother's films up to that point, including "Cocoon," "Backdraft," and "The Paper."

Landing a role in one of Ron's movies is not as straightforward for Clint as simply asking his brother. "I have to lobby him, because I'm an actor trying to get work," he told the Times. Sometimes, the director cannot envision his younger brother being part of a project, and Ron passes on including him. "But there have been plenty of parts I wanted that he just hasn't seen me doing," Clint said.

Besides working alongside his brother, Clint is known for his prolific on-screen output. "I've only turned down a couple of jobs in my life," he admitted to the AV Club on October 11. This has led to Clint enjoying a wonderfully eclectic career from notable comedies to sci-fi and horror projects. 

Clint Howard is a Star Trek veteran

Stellar work in comedy has been a staple in Clint Howard's career. The actor has appeared on episodes of beloved series such as "Seinfeld," "My Name is Earl," and "Arrested Development," per IMDb. Plus, he has popped up in movies such as "The Waterboy," and the "Austin Powers" trilogy, where he even parodied his character from "Apollo 13." "I thought about it for two seconds when I started getting asked to sort of spoof myself," he told the AV Club on October 11. "It's a job. It pays."

Along with the prestige projects Clint has appeared in, he has also amassed a slew of credits in pulpy B-movies with genre directors, such as Roger Corman and Uwe Boll. "Horror movies are like Mexican food ... I don't like to eat it all the time, but occasionally it's fun, you know?" the "Ice Cream Man" star told in 2008.

One of Clint's earliest roles was as the alien Balok in the original "Star Trek" series when the actor was only 7 years old, per Star Later, he popped up on episodes of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and "Star Trek: Enterprise." In 2018, the showrunners of "Star Trek: Discovery" created a role specifically for him. "We sort of created the part for Clint," showrunner Aaron Harberts told Inverse at the time. "And Clint has been in almost every iteration of Star Trek."