Ron Howard on How His One-Time Guest Appearance on ‘M*A*S*H’ Reminded Him of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Ron Howard
Ron Howard | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Walt Disney Photo Archives / Television via Getty Images

Ron Howard resigned from several positions before becoming an Oscar director.

Howard’s early career as a children’s actor, his role as Opie Taylor on Andy Griffith Exhibition, and several years when he portrayed Richie Cunningham on the famous series Happy days there would be plenty of résumé on their own.

But he appeared on several shows before going behind the camera as a filmmaker, one of whom was on the television series. M * A * S * H., which Howard fondly remembered.

War drama / comedy, of course, reminded me of Hillbilly dies director much of his first long career.

Howard’s debut in television

As a children’s actor, Ron Howard was busy even before Andy Griffith Exhibition. He appeared in television programs in the late 1950s and 1960s, respectively Theater 90, Evening zone, and Dennis an Menace, among others.

In 1959 Howard, aged 5, appeared on the television program General Electric Theater. Hosted by actor and future US president Ronald Reagan, his outlook on the program led to his role as Opie Taylor the following year, as Howard told him American Television Archive.

“I guess I didn’t get much credit, but Ronald Reagan had seen the show and in the end, he was just repeating this and he said, ‘Special thanks to little Ronnie Howard who did a fantastic job like Barnaby or something like that, ”he recalled.

“And that continued [The Andy Griffith Show producer] Sheldon Leonard to call my producer and say, ‘I’m doing a series with Andy Griffith and we need a son. ”

His view of M * A * S * H.

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Howard appeared on the 1973 Emmy Award-winning program entitled “Sometimes you hear the bullet. ”

In the program, the actor played Marine with appendicitis who is only 15 years old. Howard ‘s character, Wendell, is desperate to get back to the front to kill more soldiers on the other side.

In a conversation with the American Academy of Television, the director recalled his appearance and the warm welcome he received from the military drama team.

“The M * A * S * H. the program was fun because I was treated like a TV vet on the show, ”he said. “I was going to college at that time. It happened to be going into the Easter holidays. ”

How ‘M * A * S * H’ reminded Howard of ‘Andy Griffith Show’

(L to R): Wayne Rogers, Ron Howard, and Alan Alda on 'M * A * S * H'
(L to R): Wayne Rogers, Ron Howard, and Alan Alda on ‘M * A * S * H’

Although Howard agreed to appear on the television series, he said he did not really know “anything about the show. I really liked the movie.

“But, immediately, it made me feel very welcome to do that program. Alan Alda was cool. Wayne Rogers, I spent a lot of time talking to him.

“You know, I felt good. And it was comfortable too because it was a one-camera show. So it reminded me of the way Andy Griffith Exhibition was made. And [like the Griffith show] there was some drama as well as the comedy. ”

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