13 TV shows Ron Howard was on besides Happy Days and Andy Griffith

Watch the actor grow as he moves from role to role, on everything from Twilight Zone to Gunsmoke.

For many, the name Ron Howard is synonymous with Opie Taylor. This is not to diminish the acclaimed director's phenomenal film career. It's just that we all really, really love Opie Taylor. Has there ever been a more beloved kid on television?

Well, some might say Richie Cunningham. Of course, Howard's acting resume is studded with dozens of bullet points. He was acting before, between and after The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days. (Not to mention, Opie and Richie appeared on other sitcoms.) His most successful characters overshadow the numerous gigs he had on other shows, from classic series to forgotten titles.

Let's take a look at some of his memorable roles. Watch him age from gig to gig.


1. The Twilight Zone

"Walking Distance" (1959)

This affecting tale of nostalgia and adulthood starring a time traveling Gig Young features a five-year-old Howard.

2. Dennis the Menace

1959–1960

Howard pops up in six episodes as Dennis' friend Stewart.

3. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

1959–1961

Howard was in multiple episodes of this Bob Denver sitcom, four to be exact, most notably the first season episode "Room at the Bottom," pictured here.

4. Pete and Gladys

"The Goat Story" (1960)

This Harry Morgan sitcom was a spin-off of December Bride and focused on a stereotypical TV couple. Howard gets to show off his animal skills.


5. The Fugitive

"Cry Uncle" (1964)

The on-the-run Richard Kimble hides out in an orphanage.

6. The Big Valley

"Night of the Wolf" (1965)

Nick Barkley is bitten by a rabid wolf. Instead of gaining super powers, he wanders off and meets a woman with a young son.

7. I Spy

"Little Boy Lost" (1966)

Howard is an overlooked child of a scientist who steals a vital piece of technology from dad and runs away.

8. Gentle Ben

1967–1969

Ronny made a couple guest appearances on the charming boy-and-bear series that starred his younger brother Clint and father Rance. Oddly, they were not related onscreen.

Image: CBS

9. Daniel Boone

"A Man Before His Time" (1969)

Howard makes the full transition to moody teenager in this episode, wherein he portrays the son of a killed fugitive bent on revenge.

10. Gunsmoke

"Charlie Noon" (1969)

He was still billed as Ronny when he appeared as Jamie Barker in season 15 of the western.

11. Land of the Giants

"Genius at Work" (1969)

A boy genius named Jodar (you know who) has invented a growth potion in this first season outing of the Irwin Allen effects spectacular.

12. The Smith Family

1971–1972

The closest Howard came to a hit series between Andy and Happy Days was this Henry Fonda vehicle about a cop and his family. Alas, it only lasted two seasons.

13. M*A*S*H

"Sometimes You Hear the Bullet" (1973)

Yep, he was still billed as Ronny Howard when he played a Marine with a burst appendix. The 19-year-old actor was portraying a 15-year-old posing as his older brother.

Enjoy even more classic shows on-air! Find where to watch MeTV in Washington, DC