Ron Howard and his brother Clint grew up renowned, with famous actor parents who guided them through this exciting profession.
In honor of their parents, Ron and Clint authored a biography about their family, “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family,” which provided details into how their parents, Rance Howard and Jean Speegle, established their family heritage.
Speegle began her studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York before being involved in an accident that rendered her unable to walk.
Luckily, Speegle recovered and continued her acting career at the University of Oklahoma, where she met Rance.
Ron and Clint described his dad as a slender, good-looking man who enjoyed his cowboy lifestyle in their book. Speegle had a doll face and red wavy hair, according to her boys.
Rance and Speegle fell in love instantly and knew they had a future together. So, not long after they began dating, the pair decided to leave university to pursue their goal of acting.
Rance and Speegle secured a position as touring members of a children’s theater after trying to find steady work. Speegle is said to have played princesses such as Cinderella and ingenues. In contrast, Rance was a Huntsman or prince.
The Howards wedded in Kentucky while on tour with the children’s theater and finally stopped traveling across the country after a year and a half.
Rance and Speegle began a family with their two boys, Ron and Clint. The mother of two continued to perform into the 1950s before retiring to concentrate on her family.
Rance kept acting and supervised Ron and Clint, who worked on a variety of projects. Ron began performing on “The Andy Griffin Show” when he was six years old. At the age of eight, he starred in “The Music Man.”
Clint appeared in the classic films “Bananza,” “Star Trek,” and “Gentle Ben.” Rance and Speegle, put their son’s profits in a trust account and did all they could to assist their kids through their newfound celebrity.
Ron and Clint have spoken about their biography and their background as famous child actors in an interview. First, the issue of lifestyle arose. Because the Howard brothers were earning money from their many enterprises, they might have lived a lavish lifestyle.
Nevertheless, Ron confessed that they survived off his father’s wages in order to provide them with a normal childhood. Ron also stated that they were approached about starting a clothing line, which would have provided them with extra revenue, yet Rance did not want his children to lose their youth to celebrity.
Clint also mentioned that they had everything they required as children. But nothing was lavish as they only bought new clothes once a year, did not go on vacation, and did not drive expensive automobiles. The needs were provided, and Rance and Speegle removed any expectations of enjoying a glamorous Hollywood life.
Although Clint and Ron confessed that growing up in Hollywood was difficult, they praised their dad for continuously preserving their mental health and assuring them that they did not grow up too quickly.
Ron recalls a day when he was ten and on set with older children. Rance intervened when the cast members began using improper language, reminding them of his son’s age and that their language was unsuitable for him.
Ron went on to become a well-known and award-winning filmmaker, while his brother Clint continued to appear in films such as “The Grinch,” “Parenthood,” and others.
Ron’s mom retired from acting to raise her kids, but after 30 years, the mother of two returned to the big screen. Speegle made a reappearance in 1995, just before Ron filmed his picture “Apollo 13.”
Her son Ron described her as the “new old woman on the comedy block,” so when his dad recommended casting Speegle in “Apollo 13,” the director acknowledged he was frightened.
The picture was crucial to Ron’s profession, therefore the pressure to do it perfectly was intense. After considering his father’s idea, the filmmaker opted to cast his mom in the role of Tom Hanks’ mother.
Ron stated that he preferred not to conduct it at the studio in order to make it less formal. So he went to his parents’ house and indicated to them that his mom was worried but ready for her audition.
The “Andy Griffen Show” actor revealed that they went through the sequence, and watching his mom in action made him cry. Ron stated that she made him weep not only because he was proud of her as a son, but also because he believed she could do it, and here was a chance.
“Apollo 13” proved a hit, winning 29 of the 59 nominations it garnered, including two Academy Awards.
The Howard brothers lost their mom in 2000. Speegle died at the age of 73 due to heart and respiratory problems.
Rance died in 2017 at the age of 89. Ron confirmed his dad’s passing on Twitter with a touching letter, praising him for using his acting passion to leave a legacy for his family.
Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons. 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.— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 25, 2017
After Rance died, the Howard brothers realized they were orphans with nothing but each other to help them get through the rest of their lives.
Clint admitted that he had a difficult relationship with death. Although the actor claimed he did not panic after his dad died, he felt he was suppressing the agony and did not allow himself to mourn his sorrow.
Nonetheless, he was grateful for Ron’s assistance. To commemorate and respect Rance and Speegle’s lives, the brothers decided to publish their story, “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family.”