Monday, June 27, 2011

Cheers to Clint…no, not Eastwood

You’d know him to see him. His unconventional looks make him instantly recognizable. He’s also director extraordinaire, Ron Howard’s, younger brother, and he’s been a gainfully employed actor in his own right for nearly 50 years. He broke into the biz at age three when he starred in several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, and has been acting steadily ever since.

With ties to a family with a long history in the movie business and in having a large and diverse body of work to his credit, it’s surprising that Clint Howard never achieved leading man status. His career has been defined mostly by character acting and supporting roles in film, 17 of which were directed by his brother, Ron.

Clint Howard’s filmography reads like a movie store shelf. He’s starred in comedies, dramas, action flicks, horror and animated movies, and even romantic comedies. Despite having made tons of good, quality films that achieved huge critical and commercial success, Howard never quite garnered the kind of fame of a marquee movie star. Rather, he carved out a niche for himself as a supporting actor tapped to appear in a variety of genres alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and he’s played his roles well.

In 1998, Howard was awarded the MTV Movie Awards Lifetime Achievement award proving that he and his work hadn’t gone unnoticed after all. Here are a few of Clint Howard’s most memorable films:

Apollo 13
In this adaptation of true events, Howard plays Seymour "Sy" Abraham Liebergot, a NASA flight controller who served during the Apollo program and helped guide Apollo 13 back to Earth.

In this film directed by his brother Ron, Howard plays a morgue attendant who works on the bodies of victims who have perished in violent fires.

Howard plays a worker in a retirement home where a group of elderly residents experience miraculous rejuvenating affects from a group of aliens.

Tango and Cash
Howard has a small role in this action-comedy, starring Sylvester Stallone. Howard plays prison inmate, Slinky, and cellmate to Stallone’s wrongfully convicted cop character, Tango. Howard is perfectly cast as the irritating, whiny character that plays with his slinky toy incessantly, eventually becoming tied up by his beloved toy after Tango gets fed up with him.

The Austin Powers series
In this wildly popular and hilarious franchise, Howard plays a space tracking agent.

In another small role, Howard is cast as a television director of a reality show starring a guy named Ed.

The Waterboy
Howard’s shining moment from The Waterboy can be seen in this clip:

Do you have a favourite Clint Howard role? Let us know in the comments section.


  1. He was the only cast member of the movie Gung Ho to transfer to the TV series based on it.

    I am the font of all knowledge.

  2. If there is one major reason why some of Ron Howard's movies are good. It's because of Clint. Without Clint, they're no good.

  3. @Dan - Unfortunately, I never saw Gung Ho on the big or the small screen, but in researching for this piece, it did come up a lot in Clint Howard's bio as one of his more memorable roles.

    @thevoid99 - Clint definitely brings a unique and memorable presence to the films he's in, and he's been in A LOT of his brother's films.

  4. Great write-up. Clint Howard always makes a movie better.

  5. He's the kind of actor your recognize, but never know his name.

    Interesting post ... I liked him in "Waterboy"

  6. Love this - and anyone who hasn't seen this perfectly awesome horror flick ICE CREAM MAN, starring Clint, needs to ASAP!

  7. @Ty and @Duke - you got it, which is why I thought I'd show him a little love and recognition.

    @Jonathan - glad you enjoyed the post. I will have to add Ice Cream Man to my list of movies to watch - sounds like it will be campy and fun!

  8. My favorite moment was at the Mtv Movie Awards. They gave him a tongue in cheek Lifetime Achievement award (one prior recipient was Chewbacca), but when he got up on stage he said that even though he knew this was a joke, it really meant a lot to him and had moved him. I believe Mtv stopped doing the award after that because Howard's response was so heartfelt that it could not be topped.

  9. @Chip Lary - The year MTV awarded Clint Howard is the year it legitimized the lifetime achievement award. I was so happy to see him get it.


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