Actor Rance Howard, father of Ron and Clint Howard and a prolific actor in his own right, has died at the age of 89. Ron Howard broke the sad news to fans on social media late on Saturday. Howard started his career when he was 20-years old, as part of a touring theater company. He acted alongside Henry Fonda in the play Mister Roberts, playing the role of Lindstrom across the country for a year and a half. Earlier this month, his granddaughter, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, praised Howard at the Broken Memories premiere and said that she admired how he stuck to acting despite never really hitting it big.

Ron Howard took to Twitter to share the news of Rance Howard's death while also paying tribute to the late actor. Ron Howard shared that his father changed the course of the Howard family history when he started acting. Ron had this to say.

"Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard's sons. Today he passed at 89. He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad.

Rance Howard passed away in Los Angeles, but no other details have been announced at this time. As previously mentioned, the late actor was recently praised by Bryce Dallas Howard who paid tribute to his 65-year career. She had this to say.

"He's had a 65-year career where he has never broken out as a movie star, he's never made the money that people dream of, and yet he's carved out this incredibly unique and remarkable and beautiful career of a character actor. He's an example of that stick-to-it-ness and what that adds up to in a life."

Howard was born Harold Rance Beckenholdt in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Ethel Cleo (née Tomlin) and Engel Beckenholdt, a farmer. He changed his name to "Rance Howard" when he became an actor. Howard studied at the University of Oklahoma. Rance Howard had an acting career that spanned several decades since the 1950s, appearing in several of his son's movies including Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Splash, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Parenthood, and Grand Theft Auto. Other movie credits include Chinatown and the 2013 drama Nebraska. On television, he appeared in many series including Seinfeld, Murder She Wrote, NCIS: Los Angeles, Grey's Anatomy, and Happy Days.

Rance Howard had been married to the late Jean Speegle Howard, having met as teenagers doing a touring children's production in Oklahoma of classic fairy tales. They married on the tour dressed in their costumes, with the bride dressed as Snow White and the groom as a Huntsman. They were married until her death in 2000. Howard later married journalist Judy Howard, who passed away earlier this year.

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As the news of Rance Howard's death began to spread, Hollywood took to social media to pay tribute to the late great actor and father of Ron and Clint Howard. Russell Crowe, who starred alongside Rance Howard in A Beautiful Mind, had this to say.

"Hey&#[email protected] my deepest condolences. He was a fine man indeed was Rance Howard. Fine man, fine actor. Being in his company was always a pleasure."

Family friend and Frozen actor Josh Gad also took to Twitter and had this to say.

"Today we lost one of the greats: Rance Howard, who I was proud to call a personal friend. When I first arrived in LA , he opened his home to me & made me feel like family. He was a legend, both as a person & performer.&#[email protected] &&#[email protected] sending lots of love."

Rance Howard is survived by his sons, granddaughters, Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard, and one great-grandchild. You can read the announcement of Rance Howard's death below, courtesy of Ron Howard's Twitter account. Rest In Peace, Rance Howard, you will be missed.

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Kevin Burwick