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REPORT: Rance Howard, Ron Howard's Father, Dies at 89

Director Ron Howard announced on Twitter that his father, film and television actor Rance Howard, has passed away on Saturday. He was 89.


“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 tweeted.

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Details surrounding his death are not yet available.

Rance Howard was born in Oklahoma on November 17, 1928, under the name of Harold Engle Beckenholdt.

His love of performing took root as a child in a touring theater troupe, according to Turner Classic Movies Archives. As an adult, he toured with another theater legend Henry Fonda in Mister Roberts before becoming a resident theater director in Baltimore. Since then, he's appeared in numerous films and was a frequent guest in western television shows like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. In his later years, Rance co-starred in most of the motion pictures helmed by his director son, Ron, including Splash, Cocoon, and Appollo 13.

Rance married actress Jean Speegle Howard, Ron and Clint's mother, in 1949. After her death in 2000, Rance remarried a year later to Judy Howard, who passed away in February this year.

Rance's granddaughter, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, praised her grandfather's talent and persistence in Hollywood at the Broken Memories movie premiere in Beverly Hills. She called him the "greatest human being on the planet," according to the Hollywood Reporter,

He’s had a 65-year career where he has never broken out as a movie star. He’s never made the money that people dream of, and yet he’s carved out this incredibly unique and remarkable and beautiful career of a character actor. He’s an example of that stick-to-it-ness and what that adds up to in a life.

Rance's A Beautiful Mind co-star Russell Crowe tweeted his condolences to Ron, tweeting, "Hey @RealRonHoward my deepest condolences. He was a fine man indeed was Rance Howard. Fine man, fine actor. Being in his company was always a pleasure."

Actor Josh Gad paid his respects, tweeting, "Today we lost one of the greats: #RanceHoward, who I was proud to call a personal friend. When I first arrived in LA, he opened his home to me & made me feel like family. He was a legend, both as a person & performer. @BryceDHoward & @RealRonHoward sending lots of love."

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Other tributes came pouring in as Hollywood mourned the loss of a luminary.

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H/T - hollywoodreporter, people, cnn, wikipedia, twitter