Rance Howard (born Harold Rance Beckenholdt; November 17, 1928 – November 25, 2017) was an American actor who starred in film and on television. He was the father of actor and filmmaker Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, and grandfather of the actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard.
Howard in 2007
Harold Rance Beckenholdt
November 17, 1928
Newkirk, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||November 25, 2017 (aged 89)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Hollywood Forever Cemetery|
|Alma mater||University of Oklahoma|
(m. 1949; died 2000)
(m. 2001; died 2017)
|Relatives||Bryce Dallas Howard (granddaughter)|
Paige Howard (granddaughter)
Howard appeared in many notable films such as Cool Hand Luke (1967), Chinatown (1974), Splash (1984), Ed Wood (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Independence Day (1996), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Cinderella Man (2005), Frost/Nixon (2008), Nebraska (2013), and Max Rose (2016). For co-producing the television film The Time Crystal (1981), he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.
Howard was born Harold Rance Beckenholdt in Newkirk, Kay County, Oklahoma, the son of Ethel Cleo (née Tomlin) and Engel Beckenholdt, a farmer. He changed his name to "Rance Howard" when he became an actor. Howard studied at the University of Oklahoma.
His professional acting career began in 1948 when he went to New York City, auditioned and landed a job in a children's touring company. The role that got him noticed nationally for television and film was playing the part of Lindstrom in the touring company of the play Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda in 1950, portraying the character for about a year-and-a-half in major cities across the U.S.
Both Rance and elder son Ron, who was two at the time, made their feature film debuts together in the 1956 western Frontier Woman. Later in the 1950s, Rance's roles included his TV debut in the series Kraft Theatre, on which he appeared three times in 1956–57.
After son Ron went on to play Opie in The Andy Griffith Show in the early 1960s, Rance had guest parts in five episodes of the show. Howard was known best for his role on television in 25 episodes of the 1960s TV series Gentle Ben starring his younger son, Clint. Howard played Henry Boomhauer, a backwoodsman who befriended the family. Another well-known TV role was on Babylon 5, in which he had a recurring role as David Sheridan, the father of Babylon 5 captain John Sheridan. He also starred in the short-lived 2000 TV series Driving Me Crazy. His television guest appearances include Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Kung Fu, The Waltons, CBS Schoolbreak Special 1986 episode "The Drug Knot", Angel, 7th Heaven, Cold Case, That's So Raven, and two appearances on Seinfeld (as different characters). On The Waltons, Howard portrayed Dr. McIver in five different episodes, one of which included Ron.
Howard appeared in over 100 films, including the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke, The Music Man (in an uncredited bit part playing "Oscar Jackson"), and many other films. Howard acted in many of his son Ron's films including Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man and Frost/Nixon. He also appeared as Dottie and Kit's father in A League of Their Own. In 2013, he played Woody Grant's brother in Nebraska. He often took parts as a priest or minister, county sheriff, or western marshal, and made numerous appearances in films by Joe Dante.
His final film role, completed in September 2017, is also the largest in his career. He plays the role of Carl Robbins in the Michael Worth road-trip drama, Apple Seed, playing on film for the first time the father of his real-life son Clint Howard.
Howard married actress Jean Speegle Howard in Burbank, California, in 1949. They remained married until her death, in September 2000. Their sons are actor and filmmaker Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard. He was also the grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard. His son Ron was born while he served three years in the United States Air Force.
|1962||The Music Man||Oscar Jackson||Uncredited|
|1963||The Courtship of Eddie's Father||Camp Counselor||Uncredited|
|1965||Village of the Giants||Deputy||Son Ron also starred|
|1965||The Desert Raven||Reggie|
|1966||An Eye for an Eye||Harry|
|1967||Gentle Giant||Tater Coughlin|
|Cool Hand Luke||Sheriff||Uncredited|
|1969||Old Paint||Cowboy||Short film|
|1970||The Wild Country||Cleve||Uncredited|
|1974||Where the Lilies Bloom||Roy Luther|
|1976||Eat My Dust!||Clark|
|1977||The Legend of Frank Woods||Howard Blacker|
|Grand Theft Auto||Ned Slinker||Directed by son Ron|
|Another Man, Another Chance||Wagonmaster|
|1978||The Amazing Mr. No Legs||Lou's Sidekick|
|Cotton Candy||Mr. Bremmercamp||Directed by son Ron|
|1979||Mr. No Legs||Mr. No Legs' sidekick|
|1981||Smokey Bites the Dust||Coach|
|1983||Love Letters||Joseph Chesley|
|Forever and Beyond||Technician|
|1984||The Lonely Guy||Minister|
|Splash||McCollough||Directed by son Ron|
|1985||Cocoon||St. Petersburg Detective||Directed by son Ron|
|The Long Hot Summer||Wilk||TV Movie|
|1986||Gung Ho||Mayor Conrad Zwart||Directed by son Ron|
|Return To Mayberry||Preacher||Made for TV Movie|
|1987||Innerspace||Supermarket Customer #1|
|1988||Dark Before Dawn||Logan|
|Merchants of Death||Robert Morrison|
|The 'Burbs||Detective #2|
|Listen to Me||Tucker's Father|
|Parenthood||Dean at College||Directed by son Ron|
|Limit Up||Chuck Feeney|
|1991||9 1/2 Ninjas!||Ninja Negotiator|
|1992||I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore||Elderly Man|
|Far and Away||Tomlin||Directed by son Ron|
|Universal Soldier||John Devreux|
|Ed and His Dead Mother||Rev. Praxton|
|1994||Forced to Kill||Rance|
|The Paper||Alicia's Doctor||Directed by son Ron|
|The Cowboy Way||Old Gentleman|
|Terminal Velocity||Chuck (pilot)|
|Ed Wood||Old Man McCoy|
|Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter||Todd Brandell|
|1995||Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest||Eddie Calhoun|
|Apollo 13||Reverend||Directed by son Ron|
|1996||Sgt. Bilko||Mr. Robbins|
|Tiger Heart||Mr. Johnson|
|Where Truth Lies||Judge Bloom|
|Mars Attacks!||Texan Investor|
|Ghosts of Mississippi||Ralph Hargrove|
|The Lay of the Land||Dr. Brown|
|Sparkle and Charm||Mr. Houghton|
|Chairman of the Board||Rev. Hatley|
|Land of the Free||Hotel Manager|
|The Night Caller||Hank|
|Evasive Action||Train Engineer||Uncredited|
|2000||Love & Sex||Earl|
|Big Wind on Campus||Grandpa Morton|
|How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Elderly Timekeeper||Directed by son Ron|
|2001||Joe Dirt||Bomb Squad Cop|
|A Crack in the Floor||Floyd Fryed|
|Rat Race||Feed the Earth Spokesman|
|A Beautiful Mind||White-Haired Patient||Directed by son Ron|
|Legend of the Phantom Rider||Doc Fisher|
|Jumping for Joy|
|Leaving the Land||Uncle Solomon|
|2003||The Long Ride Home||Old man|
|The Missing||Telegraph Operator||Directed by son Ron|
|2004||Death and Texas||Circuit Court Judge|
|Toolbox Murders||Chas Rooker|
|The Alamo||Governor Smith|
|Back by Midnight||Priest|
|2005||Cinderella Man||Announcer Al Fazin||Directed by son Ron|
|Miracle at Sage Creek||Doctor Babcock|
|2006||Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story||James Kennedy|
|Sasquatch Mountain||Harris Zeff|
|2007||Georgia Rule||Dog Bite Man|
|Be My Baby||Zippy the Messenger|
|Ghost Town||Sheriff Tom Parker|
|Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story||Preacher|
|2008||Grizzly Park||Ranger Howard|
|Drillbit Taylor||Older Man|
|Audie & the Wolf||Dr. Maleosis|
|Frost/Nixon||Ollie||Directed by son Ron|
|2009||Play the Game||Mervin Lavine|
|Angels & Demons||Cardinal Beck||Directed by son Ron|
|Boppin' at the Glue Factory||Walker Bill|
|2010||Valentine's Day||Bistro Gardens Diner|
|Yohan: The Child Wanderer||Old Knut|
|The Genesis Code||Dr. Tolley|
|The Trial||Judge Danielson|
|2011||The Dilemma||Burt||Directed by son Ron|
|Spooky Buddies||Mr. Joseph Johnson|
|Rosewood Lane||Fred Crumb|
|Redemption: For Robbing the Dead||Doctor|
|2012||Easy Rider: The Ride Back||Andrew Jackson Bennett|
|The Lone Ranger||Engineer|
|Richard Rossi 5th Anniversary of Sister Aimee||James Kennedy|
|2016||Max Rose||Walter Prewitt|
|40 Nights||Devil as an Old Man|
|2017||Chasing the Star||Devil as an Old Man|
|2018||Sister Aimee 10th Anniversary||James Kennedy||Posthumous release|
|2019||The Christ Slayer||Devil as an Old Man||Posthumous release|
|2019||Apple Seed||Carl||Posthumous release; Final film role|
|1956–1957||Kraft Television Theatre||Various||3 episodes|
|1958||How to Marry a Millionaire||Corporal||1 episode|
|1959||Bat Masterson||Fletcher||1 episode|
|The Andy Griffith Show||Various||5 episodes |
|1966||That Girl||Customer #2||1 episode|
|The Virginian||Luka||1 episode|
|1967||The Monroes||Al||1 episode|
|1967–1969||Gentle Ben||Henry Boomhauer||13 episodes|
|1970||Then Came Bronson||Mr. Carl Mueller||1 episode|
|1971||Night Gallery||Cameraman||1 episode|
|1971–1972||Bonanza||Sam / Bogardus||2 episodes|
|1968||The F.B.I.||Ranger||1 episode|
|1969||Kung Fu||Sheriff Byrd||1 episode|
|1973–1975||The Waltons||Dr. McIvers||5 episodes|
|1974||Gunsmoke||Frank Benton||1 episode|
|1976–1979||Happy Days||Announcer / Ben Wilson / Mr. Burkhart||3 episodes|
|1977||Little House on the Prairie||Simpson||1 episode|
|1978||Battlestar Galactica||Farnes||1 episode|
|1979||Laverne & Shirley||Doctor||1 episode|
|1981||Mork & Mindy||Guard||1 episode|
|1983||The Thorn Birds||Doctor||Miniseries|
|Murder, She Wrote||Fillmore||1 episode|
|1986||A Smoky Mountain Christmas||Doctor||Television film|
|1989–1992||Baywatch||Fireman / Joe||2 episodes|
|1989||B.L. Stryker||Richard Walton||1 episode|
|1991||Quantum Leap||Ring Doctor||1 episode|
|1993||Coach||Herman Van Dam||1 episode|
|1993–1996||Seinfeld||Blind Man / Farmer||2 episodes|
|1994||Diagnosis Murder||Driver||1 episode|
|1995||Problem Child 3: Junior in Love||The Janitor||Television film|
|1996–1997||Babylon 5||David Sheridan||3 episodes|
|Married... with Children||Edwin / Reverend||2 episodes|
|1996||Melrose Place||Motel Manager||1 episode|
|1997||Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction||Reginald Hannon||1 episode|
|1998||Clueless||Mr. Bell||2 episodes|
|Two of a Kind||Mr. Fillmore||2 episodes|
|1999||Just Shoot Me!||Blind Flower Guy||1 episode|
|2000||7th Heaven||Old Man in Park||1 episode|
|2001||Angel||Marcus Roscoe / Angel||1 episode|
|2002||That '80s Show||Mr. Bailey||1 episode|
|2004||Cold Case||Buddie||1 episode|
|That's So Raven||Murphy||1 episode|
|2005||Ghost Whisperer||Dirk Abrams||1 episode|
|2006||CSI: NY||Samuel Cooper||1 episode|
|2009||ER||Dr. Oliver Kostin||1 episode|
|Lie to Me||Joe Metz||1 episode|
|2012||Grey's Anatomy||Martin Carroll||1 episode|
|2013||NCIS: Los Angeles||Eugene||1 episode|
|2014||Bones||Jerold Norsky||2 episodes|
|Kroll Show||Dr. Stanley Armond||1 episode|
|2016||The X-Files||Old Man||1 episode|
|2018||Arrested Development||Rance Howard||1 episode; Posthumous release|
- "Rance Howard, actor and father of Ron Howard, dies at 89, family says". CNN. November 25, 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- Times-News, www.GoErie.com and Erie. "GoErie.com: Archives: Search Results -". nl.newsbank.com.
- Gallagher, Pat (22 July 2012). "Rance Howard At 83: 'I Never Play The Ron Howard Card'". Huffington Post. Verizon Media. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- Balsamo, Michael (November 25, 2017). "Rance Howard, actor dad of director Ron Howard, dies at 89". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 3 November 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- "Biography: Rance Howard". tcm.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- Carlton, Bob (3 March 2009). "Veteran Character Actor Rance Howard". Al.com. Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- Romano, Nick. "Rance Howard, Ron Howard's father, dies at 89". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- "Rance Howard, Actor and Father of Ron Howard, Dies at 89". The New York Times. November 26, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- "Rance Howard, Actor and Father of Ron Howard, Dies at 89". People. November 25, 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- Gray, Beverly (2003). Ron Howard: from Mayberry to the moon-- and beyond. Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 1-55853-970-0.
- Estrin, Eric (22 Feb 2010). "Ron Howard's 'Breakthrough'?: Ronald Reagan". The Wrap. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "Judy Howard Obituary". Legacy. January 17, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Keveney, Bill (November 25, 2017). "Actor Rance Howard, father of director Ron Howard, dies at 89". USA Today. Gannett. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- Howard, Ron; Howard, Clint (30 November 2017). "Ron and Clint Howard Remember Dad Rance's 'Enthusiasm, Dignity and Fearlessness' (Guest Column)". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- "Rance Howard, Ron Howard's father, dies at 89". The Los Angeles Times. November 25, 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- "Rance Howard Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- "Rance Howard". Fandago. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
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