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

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

On Now
Did you know that Clint Howard never spoke on The Andy Griffith Show?
Up Next:

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 & 8:30, Sundays at 6 & 6:30 PM

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


bagandwallyfan52 31 months ago
Betty Lynn
Thelma Lou
The Andy Griffith Show
LoveMETV22 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
I'm usually pretty observant, but I never realized that was Clint Howard.
JHP WGH 31 months ago
am surprised he didnt have one on the radar counter in Airplane:)
JHP 31 months 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)
AlSwilling JHP 31 months ago
In the South, whether "Mayberry", NC, or any other town in the south, that jelly sandwich would most likely have been made of blackberry jelly, especially during the years that The Andy Griffith Show aired. Most rural folks went blackberry picking when they were in season, and a big portion of those berries became blackberry preserves, jam, and jelly. As Southerners know, one blackberry jelly sandwich looks like another--unless the jelly is on a homemade biscuit, but biscuits wouldn't hold up well in "Leon's" hands. You just about have to sit down with a jelly biscuit and concentrate on eating it until the last bite goes into your mouth. One white bread jelly sandwich is indistinguishable from another, especially on black & white TV.
JHP AlSwilling 31 months ago
I know and thanks for the berry info - but I notice the bite marks on the sandwich being the same

I know B/W eps will wash out any color - the bread sure looked good too
JHP AlSwilling 31 months ago
also maybe the Morrison sisters had something to do with selling their preserves:)
country46 31 months 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 31 months ago
Clint did Star Trek, Ron did TZ!Or maybe you're confusing Clint with Billy Mumy, they did sorta look alike!
country46 cperrynaples 31 months ago
I stay confused I think it was star trek
AlSwilling country46 31 months ago
Clint did play on an episode of Star Trek as a little kid with a man's voice--a child with infinite power and curiosity. According to Google, "In 1966, he appeared as the powerful but childlike alien Balok in 'The Corbomite Maneuver', a season one episode of Star Trek: The Original Series (although not the first episode broadcast, it was the first episode of season one to be produced after the pilot episodes)."
TAGSCableTV 31 months ago
Leon(Clint) technically DID speak in TAGS but it was in a commercial.
daDoctah 31 months 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 31 months ago
OMG, he was hilarious in that movie. I think that may be the best role I've ever seen him in.
retired2019 31 months ago
I always thought Clint was a dud. If it wasn’t for Ron he would be living in a cardboard box.
JHP retired2019 31 months ago
hey NOW he played in Airplane:)

AlSwilling retired2019 31 months ago
He also co-starred with a bear in Gentle Ben, and that had mild success.
It isn't Ron Howard vs. Clint Howard. It's not a competition. If Ron had not been in the picture, so to speak, Clint would have found his own way, just like every other human being on the planet.
ELEANOR 31 months 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 31 months ago
I like Clint Howard in the Seinfeld episode. “The Big Tipper”. Very funny episode. Of course.
OlgaBagley 31 months ago
Clint was a baby only 2 that’s why he can’t remember
Michael 31 months ago
Does he remember Gentle Ben? Star Trek?

He's six months older than me.
Zip Michael 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
Yes, and his voice was dubbed as Balok!
Runeshaper 31 months 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 (-:
Runeshaper 31 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Zip Runeshaper 31 months 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 31 months ago
From what I saw of him on Seth Myers, I think he might be in diapers again...LOL!
JHP stephaniestavr5 31 months ago
yeah him and Radar :) (snicker-snicker)
harlow1313 31 months 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 31 months ago
Then you MUST see 'Tourist Trap' with Chuck Connors if you haven't yet. Hoo-boy, that is one bizarre flick.
RobertK 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months 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 31 months ago
I look in the mirror and see my grandfather. Yikes!
bagandwallyfan52 31 months 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
OlgaBagley 31 months ago
This comment has been removed.
WGH stephaniestavr5 31 months ago
But you have to admit he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
WGH 31 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Deleted 31 months ago
This comment has been removed.
MrsPhilHarris 31 months ago
I read it twice before I understood what they meant by that.
teire 31 months ago
Well, he was awfully little. And awfully cute as Leon.
Moverfan teire 31 months 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.
Moverfan 31 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Moverfan stephaniestavr5 31 months ago
Kid had good taste!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?