Harold Rance Beckenholdt was born on November 17, 1928 in Duncan, Oklahoma. He changed his name to "Rance Howard" when he became an actor. In 1949 he married actress Jean Speegle [1927- ], their sons are actor/director Ron Howard [1954- ] and actor Clint Howard [1959- ].
Howard is known for his character roles on television in such 1960s TV series as ‘Gentle Ben’ as Henry Broomhauer and on ‘Babylon 5’ in which he had a recurring role as David Sheridan, the father of Babylon 5 captain John Sheridan. He also starred in the short-lived 2000 TV series ‘Driving Me Crazy’.
Howard has acted in over 100 films, including his first film in 1956 called “Frontier Woman”, the 1967 movie “Cool Hand Luke”, “The Music Man” (1962) (in an uncredited bit-part playing "Oscar Jackson"), and many other films. He often takes parts as a priest or reverend, county sheriff or western marshal and has made numerous appearances in films by Joe Dante.
An accomplished rider Rance was who Lee Van Cleef went to when he got his part in "High Noon" and did not know how to ride a horse.
Howard has appeared in one Euro-western “Another Man, Another Chance” (1977) as the wagon master.
Today we celebrate Ron Howards’ 85th birthday.