‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Ron Howard Said He Was Bullied For Playing Opie Taylor on the Classic Comedy

by Jeremy Spirogis
Ron Howard, center, with Andy Griffith and Frances Bavier of

For actor Ron Howard, taking part in the function of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show was a career-launching level for him.

As a lot as the long run director beloved appearing and being on a set surrounded by such wonderful expertise, the expertise got here with a draw back for him: being bullied by his friends due to “Opie.”

Ron Howard, center, with Andy Griffith and Frances Bavier of 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Ron Howard, middle, with Andy Griffith and Frances Bavier of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ | CBS by way of Getty Images

Ron Howard’s dad coached him together with his Opie strains

[embedded content material]

Because he was solely 6 years previous, Ron Howard couldn’t learn his strains and memorize them as the opposite, grownup actors might.

It was his father Rance Howard who, at first, “taught me my lines. I couldn’t read,” he informed the Archive of American Television in 2006.

His father was additionally an actor and would “teach me the dialogue. The great thing he did was he was teaching me good, solid fundamentals about acting. My dad was teaching me to act.”

How the title ‘Opie’ happened

If you’ve ever questioned the place the title “Opie” got here from for the youngest forged member on Andy Griffith’s present, Ron Howard provided some little-known background details about Sheriff Taylor’s son.

“The name came from a bandleader from the 1940s who used to tour the South,” Howard stated. “Andy [Griffith] particularly admired this bandleader, so I think he suggested the name.”

Speaking on the function that began his appearing profession, Howard stated, “I was the sheriff’s son growing up. Mother had passed away, but looking to Aunt Bee as sort of a mother figure. Mostly leaning on my father, my Pa.”

Andy Griffith and Ron Howard Andy Griffith and Ron Howard
Andy Griffith and Ron Howard | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

RELATED: Which ‘I Love Lucy’ Actor Also Was Part of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Cast?

Howard was bullied in class for being ‘Opie’

Being on a high 10 present will need to have been an enormous confidence booster for Howard again within the 1960s. However, the Cinderella Man director revealed he was bullied due to his tv character’s distinctive title.

MeTV reported Howard as stating in a biography centered on him, “Among my peers, I was embarrassed to be an actor.”

He was conscious that, whereas the adults in his life celebrated his accomplishment, folks his personal age weren’t as beneficiant with reward.

[embedded content material]

Deputy Barney Fife teaches Opie how one can take care of bullies

“It was not something to be talked about,” Howard stated. “The Andy Griffith Show was the No. 1 present within the nation, so I all the time knew there was one thing that I might try this was uncommon and that I might perform in an grownup setting.

“I was the butt of a lot of jokes. My character’s name, Opie, rhymes with dopey… I’d have to get into fights with people.”

One fateful a part of his job as an actor was attending to spend time with the crew of the present. Eventually, Howard realized his ardour for movie and tv was behind the cameras.

“It didn’t take me long to realize that the director was the person who got to sort of hang out and play with everybody,” Howard shared.

Which was lucky for film lovers, as Ron Howard would go on to direct a slew of beloved and critically acclaimed movies together with Apollo 13, the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, Splash, Cocoon, and most just lately, Hillbilly Elegy.

Leave a Comment