‘The Andy Griffith Show’: What Was It Like for Ron Howard To Grow up on the Show?

Ron Howard became a household name when he starred in The Andy Griffith Show. He played the character of Opie and became an enduring character. The actor was close to his co-stars. The main star, Andy Griffith, treated him well but also made sure he learned about television production. 

During an interview with Deadline, Howard shared more about what it was like growing up on the show. He had good things to say about working with Griffith and the crew. 

Ron Howard shooting a scene for 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Ron Howard appearing in The Andy Griffith Show | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

‘The Andy Griffith Show’ is about a sheriff

In 1960, The Andy Griffith Show began airing on television across the United States and was a hit for all eight seasons. The show’s cast includes Griffith, Howard, and Don Knotts. The characters live in the fictional town of Mayberry. 

While there are multiple characters in the series, Sheriff Andy Taylor lies at the heart of the story. The character goes about his daily life while taking care of the community. Most people get along, and nothing goes too wrong. Of course, several characters may end up doing wacky hijinks. 

The show portrays a sort of idealized life in a small town, but there is still a real-life charm to it. Part of the draw of the show is the father-son bond. Andy and his son Opie have a natural relationship, and Opie respects his dad. Andy is someone who tries to make sure his kid is happy and safe. 

At the time, the series was one of the very few shows that portrayed a single-parent household. There was no doubt plenty of single parents in the ’60s. So, the show brought in some realism. 

Ron Howard began acting as a child

RELATED: ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Almost Didn’t Snag Ron Howard In His Iconic Opie Role

Howard first came into the spotlight as a child actor. He appeared in his first film when he was only an infant. Most people know him for his role on The Andy Griffith show. The actor went on to star in other shows like The Smith Family

Like many other actors, Howard began to direct movies. His time on The Andy Griffith Show inspired him to pursue directing. Several actors-turned-directors talked to him about it, and Howard got to contribute to the show’s creative process. Some of his films include Apollo 13 and Solo: A Star Wars Story

In The Andy Griffith Show, Howard portrays Opie. The actor first appeared on the show when he was six years old. He displayed a level of innocence that drew in fans. Howard almost did not get the part, but another series he had been working on failed, which made him available for the role. 

Ron Howard’s experience on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

For eight years, Howard was a part of The Andy Griffith Show‘s cast. The actor landed the role when he was only six years old, so he spent his formative years on the series. After the passing of Griffith, Howard opened up about what it was like growing up on the set. 

According to Deadline, Howard talked about the effect the late actor had on the series. “The spirit he created on the set of The Andy Griffith Show was joyful and professional all at once. It was an amazing environment.” 

The cast and crew had a positive impact on the actor. There was a level of respect between him and the creators. When he first joined the show, he was interested in the creative process. He had some suggestions about script changes. 

The first time the actor influenced the show, he had an idea to change one of his lines. Howard wanted his character to sound more natural. The show allowing him to make some creative decisions likely contributed to him evolving into a director later in life.