Rance Howard dead: Actor and father of Ron Howard dies aged 89

Ron Howard with father Rance Howard: REX
Ron Howard with father Rance Howard: REX

Rance Howard —father of actors Ron Howard and Clint Howard, grandfather of Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard — has died, aged 89.

Ron announced the news on social media, writing: “Clint and I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons. Today he passed at 89.

"He stood especially tall for his ability to balance ambition with great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love and miss you Dad.”

Rance’s own career as an actor spandex many decades, landing his first Hollywood movie role in 1956’s Frontier Woman, later appearing in A Beautiful Mind, Chinatown, and The Lone Ranger.

He also appeared in many of the films Ron directed, including Angels & Demons, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Apollo 13, and directorial debut Grand Theft Auto.

Granddaughter Bryce — best known for appearing in Jurassic World and Black Mirror — paid tribute by sharing the Henry Van Dyke's poem Gone From My Sight along with the message: "My grandfather, the patriarch of our family's favourite poem, he could recite it from heart."

The poem about death ends: "Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, 'There, she is gone," there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, 'Here she comes!’ And that is dying."

Actors including Russell Crowe, Corey Feldman and Josh Gad have since paid tribute to Rance, Crowe writing: "He was a fine man indeed was Rance Howard. Fine man, fine actor. Being in his company was always a pleasure."

Lance also appeared on numerous television shows, including Seinfeld, Murder She Wrote, NCIS: Los Angeles, Grey's Anatomy and Happy Days. His wife, Judy Howard, died earlier this year in January.