Oscar Directors: Howard, Ron (A Beautiful Mind)

Academy Award-winning filmmaker RON HOWARD (Directed by/Produced by) is one of this generation’s most popular directors.  From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood’s most memorable films.  Most recently, he directed the big screen adaptation of the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, starring Oscar winner Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno and Paul Bettany. Prior to The Da Vinci Code, Howard directed and produced Cinderella Man starring Oscar winner Russell Crowe, with whom he previously collaborated with on A Beautiful Mind, for which Howard earned an Oscar for Best Director and which also won awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.  The film garnered four Golden Globes as well, including the award for Best Motion Picture Drama.  Additionally, Howard won Best Director of the Year from the Directors Guild of America.  Howard and producer Brian Grazer received the first annual Awareness Award from the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign for their work on the film.

Howard’s skill as a director has long been recognized.  In 1995, he received his first Best Director of the Year award from the DGA for Apollo 13.  The true-life drama also garnered nine Academy Award nominations, winning Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.  It also received Best Ensemble Cast and Best Supporting Actor awards from the Screen Actor’s Guild.  Many of Howard’s past films have received nods from the Academy, including the popular hits Backdraft, Parenthood and Cocoon, the last of which took home two Oscars. Howard was honored by the Museum of Moving Images in December 2005, and by the American Cinema Editors in February 2006. On January 24th, Howard, along with his partner Brian Grazer, was honored with the Milestone Award by the Producers Guild of America.

Howard also produced and directed the film adaptation of Peter Morgan’s critically acclaimed play Frost / Nixon directed. The film, which was released in December 2008, has been nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and was also nominated for The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures by the PGA.

Howard’s portfolio includes some of the most popular films of the past 20 years. In 1991, Howard created the acclaimed drama Backdraft, starring Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell and William Baldwin.  He followed it with the historical epic Far and Away, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.  Howard directed Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise and Delroy Lindo in the 1996 suspense thriller Ransom.  Howard worked with Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Kathleen Quinlan on Apollo 13, which was re-released recently in the IMAX format.  Howard’s other films include the blockbuster Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carrey; Parenthood, starring Steve Martin; the fantasy epic Willow; and Night Shift, starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton and Shelley Long; and the suspenseful western, The Missing, staring Oscar winners Cate Blachett and Tommy Lee Jones.  

Howard has also served as an executive producer on a number of award-winning films and television shows, such as the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and Fox’s Emmy award winner for Best Comedy, Arrested Development, for which he also narrated. He is also producing the television series Parenthood, based on the comedy he directed.

Howard and long-time producing partner Brian Grazer first collaborated on the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash.  The pair co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 to create independently produced feature films.  The company has since produced a variety of popular feature films, including such hits as American Gangster, Friday Night Lights,  The Nutty Professor, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Bowfinger, The Paper and Liar, Liar. Howard and Grazer produced the recently released drama Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and staring Angelina Jolie. Howard made his directorial debut in 1978 with the comedy Grand Theft Auto.

He began his career in film as an actor.  He first appeared in The Journey and The Music Man, then as Opie on the long-running television series The Andy Griffith Show.  Howard later starred in the popular series Happy Days and drew favorable reviews for his performances in American Graffiti and The Shootist.