Clint Howard doesn't remember being on The Andy Griffith Show

He says he doesn't remember starting as the cowboy Leon.

Read to Me

Little Clint Howard never says a word. Not on The Andy Griffith Show. Clint, the younger brother of Opie actor Ron Howard, stays completely silent on his five appearances during his time on the show. The small cowboy, named Leon, is known for offering Mayberry residents a bite of the sandwich he always seems to be eating, but he never says anything.

Still, for a little cowboy who never says a word, he remains a beloved character and an iconic face from The Andy Griffith Show. He even got a commercial with Andy himself, where he finally spoke — declaring Jell-O brand chocolate pudding "good".

In an interview with AV Club, Clint Howard recently spoke about his first onscreen role as little Leon. "December of 1961 was my first day of employment, and that was The Andy Griffith Show," Howard said.

His hiring on his older brother's show was a thing of complete chance. "Mom would have to come down and watch Ron, and at the time, not wanting to hire a babysitter, Mom just brought me along, and I would wear my little cowboy outfit," Howard said. He was hanging around the set in his cowboy outfit when a director spotted him. "Bob Sweeney saw me one day and said, 'We’ve got to use him. There’s a bit we can do."

However, Howard says that he has no memory of this first taste of stardom. "What I remember are the conversations and the talks with Mom and Dad about all this, but I do not remember when I started in the entertainment business."

"I really start having memories in show business at about the age of 5," Howard said, "so like I tell people, I’ve been paying attention for about 55 years and have actually been in the business for 60."

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 PM & 8:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

46 Comments

Post a comment
bagandwallyfan52 6 days ago
RIP
Betty Lynn
Thelma Lou
The Andy Griffith Show
LoveMETV22 7 days ago
Cute as a child. Charming as an adult. Always enjoy seeing him in his many roles. Active in both Film and Television for over 50 years. An impressive repertoire.
Coldnorth 7 days ago
For Leon not to have a speaking role, I used to enjoy when he always offered a precious bite of his sandwich to everyone . Characters came and went but I never forgot little Leon. It was such a cute part of the show.
WGH 8 days ago
I worked with a nurse once, whose little girl was a child actor in the movies. I am not going to name names, but you get success in that field as a child by being polite, and well-behaved. And having a parent who gets you there on time, every time, and keeps their nose out of things. And you have to work cheaply until you are well established. It really is that simple.

And by the way, when the child turned fourteen, she decided she wanted to stop acting and her mother was fine with it.

That's a good mom.
WGH 8 days ago
I'm usually pretty observant, but I never realized that was Clint Howard.
JHP 8 days ago
do you see what jelly sandwiches can do to a kid?

(they sure looked good - almost looked like the same one every ep he was in)
country46 8 days ago
the first time i remember seeing him he was playing a crazy kid i dont know if it was twilight zone or star trek
cperrynaples country46 8 days ago
Clint did Star Trek, Ron did TZ!Or maybe you're confusing Clint with Billy Mumy, they did sorta look alike!
country46 cperrynaples 6 days ago
I stay confused I think it was star trek
TAGSCableTV 9 days ago
Leon(Clint) technically DID speak in TAGS but it was in a commercial. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10156266200276438
daDoctah 9 days ago
I think the first time I saw him in a basically "grown up" role was the movie "Rock and Roll High School", where he was the entrepeneur with a big desk in the boy's room who the kids would go to for fake hall passes and other favors.
AnnieM daDoctah 6 days ago
OMG, he was hilarious in that movie. I think that may be the best role I've ever seen him in.
retired2019 9 days ago
I always thought Clint was a dud. If it wasn’t for Ron he would be living in a cardboard box.
JHP retired2019 8 days ago
hey NOW he played in Airplane:)

ELEANOR 9 days ago
He was running around the set in his cowboy outfit and so they turned the camera on him. He was probably more interested in exploring, investigating, and snooping around than that thing called a camera that was rolling.
tootsieg 10 days ago
I like Clint Howard in the Seinfeld episode. “The Big Tipper”. Very funny episode. Of course.
OlgaBagley 10 days ago
Clint was a baby only 2 that’s why he can’t remember
Michael 10 days ago
Does he remember Gentle Ben? Star Trek?

He's six months older than me.
Zip Michael 10 days ago
Or Cotton Candy?
Okay, he was a little older in that one, but he probably WANTS to forget it.
I remember him in that one because it was about a few guys who start a band(guess what they name their band?) and go up against a "hard rock" band in a talent contest. It was actually kind of a lame movie, but my brothers and I watched it because we used to play music together.
And I just found out that it was directed by none other than Clint's brother Ron. Small world I guess.
Pacificsun Michael 9 days ago
Yeah, if would've been fun if they did a little more research to find out his impression of Star Trek. Although it wasn't his voice he still did all the moves, and it was a pretty intricate part for a kid his age.
AnnieM Pacificsun 6 days ago
When he was on Seth Meyer's show with brother Ron a few days ago (they just wrote a book about their parents), he said at first they wanted to actually shave his head to play Balok, but he was afraid of being made fun of at school for having a bald head, so they let him wear a bald cap instead.
AnnieM Michael 6 days ago
I'd think he should remember Gentle Ben - he's 5 years older than me, and I remember *watching* Gentle Ben. I wonder what he thought of working with that bear. I would've been thrilled to pieces, but with him being a Hollywood kid, maybe it was no big deal. 🤷‍♀️
cperrynaples AnnieM 6 days ago
Yes, and his voice was dubbed as Balok!
Runeshaper 10 days ago
I totally understand Clint being so young and not remembering his time on the show, but I sure would've liked to have been in his cowboy duds at that time (-:
You think you both could've fit into them? It might've been a tight squeeze!
Zip Runeshaper 10 days ago
That's what I thought. You can't blame a guy for not remembering something when he was still probably in diapers.
cperrynaples Zip 8 days ago
From what I saw of him on Seth Myers, I think he might be in diapers again...LOL!
JHP stephaniestavr5 8 days ago
yeah him and Radar :) (snicker-snicker)
harlow1313 10 days ago
I enjoy the B-horror movies, "Evilspeak" and "Ice Cream Man." I have a taste for bad horror movies, and these both fit that bill.
AnnieM harlow1313 6 days ago
Then you MUST see 'Tourist Trap' with Chuck Connors if you haven't yet. Hoo-boy, that is one bizarre flick.
RobertK 10 days ago
Clint and Ron Howard were guests on the Today Show yesterday morning. They both are a couple of really "down to earth" fellows. It is great to see both of them successful in their acting careers, starting out as child stars. Many children in the entertainment industry who began acting or singing, and had success and popularity at an early age, often have troubled lives when they grow up.
cperrynaples RobertK 8 days ago
Well I saw the Seth Myers interview and my first thought was "Clint looks like he's the older brother now"...LOL! Then I did the math and he's the same age I am...LOL again!
RobertK cperrynaples 8 days ago
Yeah, isn't it that everyone else shows their age but we just stay the same! Ha! I look in the mirror in the morning and I see my Dad!!
WGH RobertK 8 days ago
I look in the mirror and see my grandfather. Yikes!
bagandwallyfan52 11 days ago
Clint Howard played on Happy Days 2 times as Moose and
Junior the son of Donald(Dave
Ketchum).Donald was one of
Howard Cunningham's lodge
brothers in at Least 3 episodes.
When Clint Howard played
Moose he and Spike robbed Arnold's Drive In.
Wasn't Clint Howard in the
Program Gentle Ben?
Yes Clint was
Moose in "Bringing Up Spike" (1976) and
Donald 'Junior' Hedges Jr. in "Father and Son" (1980)
He was in Gentle Ben as Mark Wedloe - 56 episodes.
When Clint was Small he was so adorable grew up butt Ugly where’s his bro. Ron Kept his looks
That comment is uncalled for. Each of us looks the way we were/are meant to look That's just the way it is. There are those who don't like how they look, so they take whatever necessary steps they think they need to take, to change themselves.
You sound like the kind of person who enjoys criticizing other's appearances. None of us are perfect. We are who we are. That's the way of the world!
WGH stephaniestavr5 8 days ago
But you have to admit he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
stephaniestavr5 WGH 7 days ago
You are just as insensitive, seem to enjoy and judge people on their appearances as OB does. Why would I admit to something so ugly as to the garbage you typed?!?! You are UGLY for saying what you did. 6 people have liked what I've said to OB. How many have hit "Like" for your comment? Any that do, are just like you. You are prejudice. You criticize others on how they look. That is a form of prejudice. Talk like this, is not welcome on this site. You will find, that there are a # of people who agree with me and have said so in the past when others have made similar comments. Go ahead keep spewing your filth. It is a free country and you have every right to say what you want to say. Just don't expect to much support/agreements or getting to many "Like" hits. I don't think it's going to happen.
stephaniestavr5 11 days ago
The story's headline reads: "He doesn't remember "STARTING" in the role of Leon." I bet his big brother Ron, remembers him "STARTING" it! I also bet Big brother Ron knows that little brother finished "starting" it, as well!
I read it twice before I understood what they meant by that.
teire 11 days ago
Well, he was awfully little. And awfully cute as Leon.
Moverfan teire 10 days ago
I don't remember the plot of the episode, but at the end, Barney's doing a little sprucing up in one of the cells and Leon closes (and locks) the door on him. Our heri, of course, starts demanding to be let out...and Leon just holds up his sandwich, offering him a bite.
Didn't Leon only eat one type of sandwich? Wasn't it peanut butter and jelly?
Kid had good taste!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?