Ron Howard was so anxious about Henry Winkler’s “The Fonz” eclipsing his character Richie Cunningham through the early run of “Completely happy Days” that he developed a pores and skin situation and began dropping his hair — as ABC toyed with renaming the present “Fonzie’s Completely happy Days.”
“The largest stressor of all was Fonzie. Not Henry [Winkler], however Fonzie. It didn’t escape my discover that because the season went on, the Fonz was getting an increasing number of display screen time,” Howard, 67, writes in “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Household,” through which he and his brother, actor Clint Howard, reminisce about their careers.
“I didn’t deal with my stress notably nicely,” he writes. “I in all probability would have benefited from seeing a psychotherapist … As an alternative, I stored every part inside. Then I began breaking out in eczema rashes throughout my physique, most acutely on my eyelids … And my hair began thinning. Wanting on the males on each side of my household, I knew it was inevitable … However it began popping out in alarming clumps throughout this time.”
All of it labored out. Sequence creator Garry Marshall instructed Ron he wouldn’t change the present’s title if he “didn’t help it” (he didn’t) and “Completely happy Days” loved a fruitful run from 1974 to 1984, spawning two basic spinoffs (“Mork & Mindy” and “Laverne & Shirley”) and one turkey (“Joanie Loves Chachi”), whereas bonding Howard and Winkler as lifelong associates. (They reunited for the 1982 big-screen comedy “Night time Shift,” which Ron directed.)
“The Boys” unfolds in a breezy first-person narrative as Ron and Clint, 62, recall rising up with their dad and mom, actors Rance and Jean Howard, and the brothers’ entrees into Hollywood at very early ages. The majority of the memoir encompasses their tv careers.
Ron was solely 6 years previous when he rose to fame as Opie Taylor on top-ranked sitcom “The Andy Griffith Present,” which chronicled life in folksy Mayberry, N.C., and ran from 1960-68.
Co-star Andy Griffith was in “real ache” as his marriage to his first spouse Barbara was “unraveling,” he writes.
“He got here again from Christmas break one season along with his hand all taped up. He was blunt about what occurred: ‘I received drunk, I received mad, and I put my fist by means of a door.’”
As for Jim Nabors: “Jim, whereas non-public about his non-public life, was not closeted. He didn’t faux up to now ladies or insist he wasn’t homosexual … The crew, sadly, was not as enlightened. Listening to their on-set chatter, I heard a phrase I didn’t know: homo. That’s what they known as Jim behind his again, and never with any trace of kindness.”
The memoir additionally options temporary forays into a few of the brothers’ early motion pictures — however stops wanting Ron speaking in any element about his profitable directorial profession (together with “Willow,” “Parenthood,” “Apollo 13,” “Frost/Nixon” and “Hillbilly Elegy”).
He does, although, write about how, on the set of the 1973 George Lucas comedy “American Graffiti,” when he was 18, his 25-year-old co-star, Cindy Williams (later to star with Penny Marshall on “Laverne & Shirley”), schooled him within the artwork of smooching.
“She sensed, appropriately, that her eighteen-year-old performing accomplice was inexperienced at kissing scenes and a bundle of nerves about performing them,” he writes. ” ‘We are able to’t kiss for the primary time on digicam,’ she mentioned. ‘We higher observe.’ With the professionalism of Hollywood’s intimacy coordinators … Cindy taught me the right way to make out convincingly for the digicam with out overstepping. She was not all for me romantically, nor I in her. Cindy carried out this service out of generosity, saving me from embarrassment … “
Ron additionally describes, in cringeworthy element, how he instructed his mom about his teenage urges.
“I used to be used to Dad’s forthrightness and imperviousness to so-called taboos. So I assumed it was completely okay to tell Mother of my nocturnal emissions and my extra aware bed room actions, and to ask her if this was all regular, and, if that’s the case, if I used to be going about it the suitable manner … Mother actually put her arms to her ears, horrified to be put on this place. Talking in a booming ‘La-la-la, I can’t hear you!’ voice to drown out any additional disgusting revelations that I might need been sharing, she mentioned, “ ‘You’re going to have to attend till your dad will get house to speak about that. Ask him, not me!’ ”
He did. And right here’s what Rance instructed him: “Some individuals name it j–king off. However masturbation is the precise time period. It’s all very regular. It’s not soiled. Don’t fear about it.”
Clint’s largest revelation about his time on “Mild Ben” (1967-69) considerations his ursine co-star, Bruno: “The one unfavourable … was that he smelled. He additionally took prodigious dumps resulting from his equally prodigious eating regimen.”
Clint additionally candidly remembers his heavy pot smoking, ingesting and descent into heavier drug use. “I attempted to get sober a couple of occasions, the primary in 1984,” he writes, noting he marks his first day of sobriety as June 14, 1991.
“I opened up the Yellow Pages and located an inventory for Beverly Glen Hospital, which supplied a twenty-eight-day in-patient program for treating drug and alcohol dependency … Mother and Dad did their greatest to assist me … I wanted a couple of tries earlier than restoration took.
“Ron, bless him, persistently solid me in his motion pictures all through my utilizing years.”