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How Ron Howard Spent The 70s In The 50s And 60s

June 5, 2013

How Ron Howard Spent the 70s in the 50s and 60s

Actor Ron Howard has plenty of wholesome, all-American appeal. During the 1970s, that quality made him ideal for playing clean-cut young men living in the 1950s and 1960s.

Howard's breakthrough role was in "American Graffiti" (1973), director George Lucas's first major box office success. Set in a small California town in 1962, the picture follows a group of teenagers over the course of one long summer night, the night before a couple of them are set to leave for college. Get more information here. Here Howard plays Steve Bolander, senior class president. He's typecast as Mr. Popular; he seems completely confident and at ease in this film.

Howard showed up as Bolander again in "More American Graffiti" (1979). It turns out Bolander married his girlfriend Laurie, played by Cindy Williams, from the first movie. Bolander, adhering to typical 1950s values, pressures Laurie to remain a stay-at-home mom.

Howard also played a fifties-and-sixties youth during the first seven seasons of the ABC situation comedy "Happy Days," which ran from 1974 to 1984. On this show he was Richie Cunningham, the kindly, friendly son of a hardware store owner and a homemaker. The character was almost as iconic as Cunningham's friend, the rebellious greaser Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli.

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