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The Boys : A Memoir of Hollywood and Family

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Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben—these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors. “What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben—these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors. “What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. In The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity—but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons. With the perspective of time and success—Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor—the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector—sometimes over-protector—from the snares and traps of Hollywood. By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, The Boys is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.


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Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben—these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors. “What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, Gentle Ben—these shows captivated millions of TV viewers in the ’60s and ’70s. Join award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and audience-favorite actor Clint Howard as they frankly and fondly share their unusual family story of navigating and surviving life as sibling child actors. “What was it like to grow up on TV?” Ron Howard has been asked this question throughout his adult life. In The Boys, he and his younger brother, Clint, examine their childhoods in detail for the first time. For Ron, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days offered fame, joy, and opportunity—but also invited stress and bullying. For Clint, a fast start on such programs as Gentle Ben and Star Trek petered out in adolescence, with some tough consequences and lessons. With the perspective of time and success—Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor—the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector—sometimes over-protector—from the snares and traps of Hollywood. By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, The Boys is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived “child-actor syndrome” to become fulfilled adults.

30 review for The Boys : A Memoir of Hollywood and Family

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…. read by Ron Howard and Cliff Howard …..13 hours and 18 minutes Who does not love Ron Howard? Right? I mean … really? Can you think of one darn little thing ‘not’ to like? Of course not!!!! Here’s the thing though — There is nothing [in content] not to admire and appreciate in this memoir by two brothers who love each other lots - wanted to write a love tribute to their parents - and share with us about their coming of age as child actors… Filled with so much love and gratefulness for t Audiobook…. read by Ron Howard and Cliff Howard …..13 hours and 18 minutes Who does not love Ron Howard? Right? I mean … really? Can you think of one darn little thing ‘not’ to like? Of course not!!!! Here’s the thing though — There is nothing [in content] not to admire and appreciate in this memoir by two brothers who love each other lots - wanted to write a love tribute to their parents - and share with us about their coming of age as child actors… Filled with so much love and gratefulness for their lives — we get it!!! Really get it!!!! But…. this memoir is so packed filled with happy, healthy, functional stories — (God I’m bad) > it almost becomes a little boring… Without much range of ‘anything’ not happy-healthy and functional — the memoir has a monotone (nice) feeling. Isn’t it a shame that ‘happy-nice’ isn’t as engaging to read as ‘trauma’ ? 3.5 POSITIVE happy-healing stars!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    THE BOYS is one of the best memoirs that I've read and one of my favorites now for sure. Ron and Clint Howard do a marvelous job of telling their own stories from childhood through adulthood. It's also a great history and fascinating look at their parents, Rance and Jean Howard. Rance and Jean were both raised in Oklahoma, and their hard work ethic, moral base, self-sacrifice, honesty, integrity, and dedication would effectively envelope Ron & Clint, nurturing and guiding them through the tinsel THE BOYS is one of the best memoirs that I've read and one of my favorites now for sure. Ron and Clint Howard do a marvelous job of telling their own stories from childhood through adulthood. It's also a great history and fascinating look at their parents, Rance and Jean Howard. Rance and Jean were both raised in Oklahoma, and their hard work ethic, moral base, self-sacrifice, honesty, integrity, and dedication would effectively envelope Ron & Clint, nurturing and guiding them through the tinsel town world of Hollywood. THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW is my all time favorite television show and I own the entire series. Of course, Ron Howard starred as Andy's son Opie in the long running program. Rance Howard was always on the set doing read throughs with Ron, and warmly coaching him into a fine method actor, even at a young age. Rance later did the same thing for son Clint in movies and the TV show, GENTLE BEN. Unselfishly, he did all this for his boys while trying to maintain a writing and acting career for himself, which he somehow managed to do. There is just a wonderful history here of the Howard family, and how they basically held onto their small town values and beliefs in the face of the glitzy and "glamorous" arena of show business. Both Ron and Clint prospered under the mentoring and guidance of their devoted parents. But that is not to say that these guys were perfect all of the time, nor were their parents. Both Ron and Clint relate the various ups-and-downs each experienced at certain points in their lives. Still, through whatever adversities they faced, they were buoyed by a more than stable and loving home life. THE BOYS is the story of the Howard family itself, and how Ron and Clint grew from boys to adolescents and to young men continuing to find success and happiness over the decades. The Howard brothers have never forgotten where they came from, and they are greatly appreciative of the enriching journey each man has traveled. Such a very fine book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    The Howards are the gold standard when it comes to Hollywood families. Yes, they have experienced success working in the tv/film industry but what is most impressive to me is they are down-to-earth, good, honest people. I got teary-eyed more than once while reading this memoir written by brothers Ron and Clint Howard. The love they have for each other and their parents is so apparent and made for a heartwarming read. Actor Rance Howard married actress Jean Speegle in 1949. In 1954, their son Ron The Howards are the gold standard when it comes to Hollywood families. Yes, they have experienced success working in the tv/film industry but what is most impressive to me is they are down-to-earth, good, honest people. I got teary-eyed more than once while reading this memoir written by brothers Ron and Clint Howard. The love they have for each other and their parents is so apparent and made for a heartwarming read. Actor Rance Howard married actress Jean Speegle in 1949. In 1954, their son Ron entered the world. Perhaps you've heard of him. He played Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, and transitioned into a not too shabby career as a director. Clint is five years younger than his brother, Ron, and he too was a child star. He played the role of Marc Wedloe on the tv series, Gentle Ben, and had guest roles on just about every popular tv series in 1960s and 1970s. With almost 60 years in the business, Clint has had a pretty awesome career as a character actor. (On a side note, I always get excited when I'm watching a movie or tv show and he pops up and totally will exclaim, "Hey, it's Clint Howard!" with a big smile on my face.) So what's the secret to the brothers' success? They obviously have talent but a lot of the credit goes to their parents for giving them as much of a normal upbringing as possible. They valued the important things in life not the wealth or the fame. And both Ron and Clint recognize their parents' contributions as well the sacrifices they made so their kids could pursue their careers. Sharing their memories of their childhood in this book really honors their parents. Highly recommend reading this memoir as it is full of humor, heart, and wisdom. Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    I really enjoyed reading this book! Ron and Clint Howard talk about their somewhat normal childhood despite being Hollywood child actors, thanks to their parents. They didn’t live a lavish lifestyle but grew up in a family neighborhood with other kids and went to public schools when they could. Their parents saved the money they earned and only used ten percent as management fee, since their dad was their manager. That amount was far less than what any Hollywood manager or agent would have cost. I really enjoyed reading this book! Ron and Clint Howard talk about their somewhat normal childhood despite being Hollywood child actors, thanks to their parents. They didn’t live a lavish lifestyle but grew up in a family neighborhood with other kids and went to public schools when they could. Their parents saved the money they earned and only used ten percent as management fee, since their dad was their manager. That amount was far less than what any Hollywood manager or agent would have cost. The published book has lots of great photos of the entire family. I read the egalley which didn’t include pics. It was so good my husband is now reading the published print book! Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins.

  5. 4 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    This memoir by brothers Ron and Clint Howard was pretty interesting until Chapter 12, at which time I started skimming. Ron Howard often went on and on about topics that did not interest me. He also included personal things in the book about his life, as well as his parents' relationship that would have been better left out. There is quite a bit, however, about The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days for fans of those two series. Clint Howard has less to say in the book than his brother. The memoi This memoir by brothers Ron and Clint Howard was pretty interesting until Chapter 12, at which time I started skimming. Ron Howard often went on and on about topics that did not interest me. He also included personal things in the book about his life, as well as his parents' relationship that would have been better left out. There is quite a bit, however, about The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days for fans of those two series. Clint Howard has less to say in the book than his brother. The memoir would have been more interesting if he had talked more about his jobs on the many TV shows he did as a character actor. For example, he mentions doing a Streets of San Francisco, but says nothing else about it. It was entitled The House On Hyde Street and was one of the very best episodes of that series. I'll always remember that episode with him, Lew Ayres and Karl Malden. Yes, he does discuss Gentle Ben, as well as a famous Star Trek episode he did as a young child. All in all, the book was a good look at an acting family that did not "go Hollywood". Plus, it was a unique look at a family where the parents wanted to be stars, but their sons ended up being the famous ones. They could have made more money for the family if they had capitalized more on Ron Howard's days as Opie Taylor, too, but they did not. They made sure he had a childhood where he had plenty of time to play and be a normal kid. They always watched out for their two sons and allowed no one to use or abuse them. P.S. I tried to post this review at Amazon, but could not because: Amazon has noticed unusual reviewing activity on this product. Due to this activity, we have limited this product to verified purchase reviews." (I got my copy from the library.) Looking at the reviews, there are quite a few by reviewers who have done very few reviews, so that can be a sign of "suspicious behavior". But most reviewers look to have enough reviews that makes them seem quite legit. The number of positive votes, too, does not seem that odd considering this is going to be a popular book, especially due to fans of the Andy Griffith show. The only review less than 4 stars, however, was complaining about receiving a damaged book, while still calling the book excellent. Plus, there were 51 ratings at the time I tried to post, but only 17 reviews, so it might be there were lots of 5-star ratings as soon as the book was released, giving the impression that it couldn't have been read that quickly to justify the votes. But who knows? I'm certainly not going to buy a copy so I can post a review at Amazon about it. After reading it, I was happy I didn't buy a copy. UPDATE 11/20/21: I would check back at Amazon every now and then to see if I could post a review. Last night I could. So, if anyone else didn't buy the book and couldn't post a review, try now.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine Comito

    Enjoyable review of Ron Howard's acting career and early desire to be a producer and how he learned how to do that. And his brother Clint who, as a character actor, has been in a ton of movies. Also includes stories about their actor parents Rance and Jean, their careers and how they raised their family. The audio is read by Ron and Clint for their own chapters, sort of alternating, so you get both voices. Enjoyable review of Ron Howard's acting career and early desire to be a producer and how he learned how to do that. And his brother Clint who, as a character actor, has been in a ton of movies. Also includes stories about their actor parents Rance and Jean, their careers and how they raised their family. The audio is read by Ron and Clint for their own chapters, sort of alternating, so you get both voices.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Yee Swope

    The Boys felt like you were listening in at an extended family reunion of the Howards as Ron and Clint held court, retelling some of their favorite family anecdotes from years gone by, the stories everyone knows and the stories that no one has heard before, occasionally interruping each other with interjections and sometimes just telling the same story from the other lens. I could not put it down, but now I have an enormous list of classics to rewatch and bit parts (and B-movies) to look up and The Boys felt like you were listening in at an extended family reunion of the Howards as Ron and Clint held court, retelling some of their favorite family anecdotes from years gone by, the stories everyone knows and the stories that no one has heard before, occasionally interruping each other with interjections and sometimes just telling the same story from the other lens. I could not put it down, but now I have an enormous list of classics to rewatch and bit parts (and B-movies) to look up and cameos to watch for.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bill Collins

    I loved every word of this book. Ron Howard has been present in my life since I was old enough to remember The Andy Griffith Show (I was born the same year as Ron and like him, was a baseball nut and a red-headed, freckled kid) and my sense has always been that he was a good person and this book more than bears it out. I enjoyed hearing the Howard family story and my admiration for Ron and Clint has grown even more as a result. Highly recommend this book. Thanks to The Boys.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen McQuestion

    I really enjoyed reading this memoir, and it was fascinating to see both Clint and Ron's point of view. They had a unique childhood and I'm glad they chose to share it with readers. I really enjoyed reading this memoir, and it was fascinating to see both Clint and Ron's point of view. They had a unique childhood and I'm glad they chose to share it with readers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tena Edlin

    This was an entertaining listen, read by both of the Howard brothers. The reviews I read were a little harsh, feeling the book was too goody-goody and not interesting. I found it refreshing to read about a family who loved each other and kids who were in the showbiz industry without being exploited. Plus, it's not like their lives were completely smooth sailing. Clint overcame addiction, and I don't think there's anything goody-goody about that. I liked hearing the stories of the boys' experienc This was an entertaining listen, read by both of the Howard brothers. The reviews I read were a little harsh, feeling the book was too goody-goody and not interesting. I found it refreshing to read about a family who loved each other and kids who were in the showbiz industry without being exploited. Plus, it's not like their lives were completely smooth sailing. Clint overcame addiction, and I don't think there's anything goody-goody about that. I liked hearing the stories of the boys' experiences on set, and I especially enjoyed all the stories about how their dad nurtured their careers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Di Richardson

    Loved it! So refreshing to read a Hollywood memoir about someone that wasn’t abused or molested. And talk about a walk down memory lane! To this day, the Courtship of Eddie’s Father is one of my all time fav movies, and I will watch anything that Ron Howard is involved in. Clint was brutally honest about his past drug use. And I loved getting the history on how he has become to be cast in so many of Ron’s movies. This one just left me feeling warm and fuzzy for all the right reasons.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...

    The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family is one of the best celebrity memoirs that I have read. It is warm, open, chatty, and allows the reader to feel that you are sitting across the table listening to their stories. I highly recommend to listening to this one as the brothers narrate it themselves, and the direction is perfect. It also adds so much to the emotional, familiar, nostalgia of this book. I am old enough to remember both men in The Andy Griffith Show in reruns and Gentle Ben in fir The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family is one of the best celebrity memoirs that I have read. It is warm, open, chatty, and allows the reader to feel that you are sitting across the table listening to their stories. I highly recommend to listening to this one as the brothers narrate it themselves, and the direction is perfect. It also adds so much to the emotional, familiar, nostalgia of this book. I am old enough to remember both men in The Andy Griffith Show in reruns and Gentle Ben in first run, so their stories of childhood on the sets took me back to my own childhood. Read it, and enjoy yourself.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathy (Bermudaonion)

    4.5 stars Ron and Clint Howard were the sons of aspiring actors Rance and Jean Howard. When the Howards moved to California in search of work, their young sons were more successful than they were. Rance and Jean were practical and down to Earth and raised their sons in a non-Hollywood environment. Even though THE BOYS is co-authored by Ron and Clint Howard, it’s really Ron’s story from successful child actor to successful director. It felt intimate and conversational to me and I really enjoyed it 4.5 stars Ron and Clint Howard were the sons of aspiring actors Rance and Jean Howard. When the Howards moved to California in search of work, their young sons were more successful than they were. Rance and Jean were practical and down to Earth and raised their sons in a non-Hollywood environment. Even though THE BOYS is co-authored by Ron and Clint Howard, it’s really Ron’s story from successful child actor to successful director. It felt intimate and conversational to me and I really enjoyed it. There were no “great reveals” but I was happy to see that Ron and Clint seemed as nice they come across in the media. Fans of the Howards and/or memoirs will love this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Ron Howard will forever be Opie or Richie Cunningham to me, but this book introduced me to Ron Howard as a brother, a son, an actor, a director, and more. I was also a big fan of Gentle Ben, and did not realize that Clint Howard, Ron's brother, played Mark. This was such a well written memoir, not just of Ron and Clint, but of the family. Rance Howard, the boys father was an actor, who played specific character types. Their mother Jean, gave up the acting bug to be a wife and mother. This was an Ron Howard will forever be Opie or Richie Cunningham to me, but this book introduced me to Ron Howard as a brother, a son, an actor, a director, and more. I was also a big fan of Gentle Ben, and did not realize that Clint Howard, Ron's brother, played Mark. This was such a well written memoir, not just of Ron and Clint, but of the family. Rance Howard, the boys father was an actor, who played specific character types. Their mother Jean, gave up the acting bug to be a wife and mother. This was an acting family, but not a dysfunctional one. They lived a life where there was a lot of traveling, working hard and both success and failures, but they used them to move forward. Ron was the older brother, Clint was five years younger. They wanted to write this book as a love letter to their parents, who held the family together. I laughed at many of their stories and some were not so happy. Seeing how Ron was treated just because he was Opie, by total strangers was sad, but he always held his head up and did not react, because that is what his parents taught him. Dealing with producers who didn't always have the actors best interests in mind was not surprising, but seeing how the Howards dealt with it certainly was. The story is told and narrated by both Ron and Clint. We get both their POVs. I enjoyed this book, and it was refreshing to see how wholesome and family centered the Howards were. The narration of the audiobook by the brothers was enjoyable and gave the impression of sitting and talking with them. I definitely recommend this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Yingling

    What a sheer delight, from beginning to end. This is an enlightening, warm, interesting story of two brothers, their love for each other, and particularly, their love for their parents. It's as much a story of Ron and Clint Howard's mom and dad as it is of their own lives. Their parents come across as ideal parents, with unconditional love and with gentle, meaningful teaching moments throughout the boys' lives. Clint is candid about his descent into drugs, but his eventual beating the habit and What a sheer delight, from beginning to end. This is an enlightening, warm, interesting story of two brothers, their love for each other, and particularly, their love for their parents. It's as much a story of Ron and Clint Howard's mom and dad as it is of their own lives. Their parents come across as ideal parents, with unconditional love and with gentle, meaningful teaching moments throughout the boys' lives. Clint is candid about his descent into drugs, but his eventual beating the habit and getting clean and sober is inspiring. I found it utterly fascinating how Ron went from acting to directing, and was excellent at both. His inside stories of being on The Andy Griffith Show, Happy Days, and his films, particularly The Music Man and American Graffiti are delightful. And let me add: Ron and Clint don't "dish the dirt". If they had disagreements with fellow actors or directors, etc. they keep their criticisms quite mild. Clint's story of being on a Star Trek episode and his time on Gentle Ben are full of good humor and insight. What made this even more special to me was that I listened to the book on audio. Having Ron and Clint read the book reminded me of sitting with good friends, relaxing and just enjoying the sharing of stories. All through the book, and at the end, the boys pay tribute to the love and examples their parents set. Both boys get a bit emotional, which was extremely touching. This book will be on my list of Best Books of 2021 for certain.

  16. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    A really enjoyable inside look at the life and family of Ron and Clint Howard. Both brothers started their acting careers at young ages and went on to do great things. This was awesome on audio narrated by each of the men and with alternating chapters and insights into both their own lives as well as their parents. Highly recommended if you are as much of a Ron Howard fan as I am. I learned a lot about his life and family, not to mention his various film and television projects.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    This book is very simply written. It doesn't go very deep into the personal lives of Ron and Clint--other than with their mother and father. And yet I really enjoyed this book. In part, this is because so much of Ron Howard's career is reminiscent of classic American culture. The Music Man, Happy Days.... But I think the other piece is how different this is from most Hollywood/celebrity memoirs that are rife with debauchery, ego-fueled cruelty, and unsettling ups and downs. What is striking is h This book is very simply written. It doesn't go very deep into the personal lives of Ron and Clint--other than with their mother and father. And yet I really enjoyed this book. In part, this is because so much of Ron Howard's career is reminiscent of classic American culture. The Music Man, Happy Days.... But I think the other piece is how different this is from most Hollywood/celebrity memoirs that are rife with debauchery, ego-fueled cruelty, and unsettling ups and downs. What is striking is how much the Howard family comes across as an ordinary family. I've always heard good things about Ron Howard as a person, and through the book it's clear that he is an extremely hard working person who loved the idea of directing film and TV. He pursued that passion for its intrinsic value, rather than the fame or other trappings. His writing is simple, earnest, and humble. The book is really a tribute to his parents and the role they played in his (and Clint's) opportunities. It wasn't completely clear why Clint was included as an author in this book. He writes probably 10% of the book, and we don't learn very much about Clint. My best guess is that this was another gracious move by Ron Howard to include his family and give them opportunities. It seems that was a gift that he learned from his own parents.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darius Murretti

    Ron Howard's is one of the very few Bios of show business people where the celebrity did not wind up morally worse off and become more unhappy after attaining fame . Ron Howard's is one of the very few Bios of show business people where the celebrity did not wind up morally worse off and become more unhappy after attaining fame .

  19. 4 out of 5

    TL

    Won 🏆 🏆 this via goodreads giveaways. All my opinions are my own:) ----

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Johnson

    "Good. It was a good book." "Good. It was a good book."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barry Hammond

    Ron Howard and his brother Clint both started as child actors, Ron on The Andy Griffith Show and Clint on Gentle Ben. They both continued acting as adults, Ron in such classics as American Graffiti and Happy Days, and Clint as a character actor in a wide variety of films. Ron also became a well know director of such films as Night Shift, Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13, Backdraft and many others. What most people don't know is that their parents were both actors as well and that their family story is Ron Howard and his brother Clint both started as child actors, Ron on The Andy Griffith Show and Clint on Gentle Ben. They both continued acting as adults, Ron in such classics as American Graffiti and Happy Days, and Clint as a character actor in a wide variety of films. Ron also became a well know director of such films as Night Shift, Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13, Backdraft and many others. What most people don't know is that their parents were both actors as well and that their family story is a slightly odd and interesting one. In this memoir, both Ron and Clint tell their own stories intertwined with each other with all their ups and downs, overlaps and divergences. A complex and interesting journey. - BH.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I loved this book! Ron and Clint Howard are storytellers. Telling the story of them growing up was interesting, engaging and real. I would recommend this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    kathy

    I have been a fan of Ron Howard since I saw him in The Music Man. I of course loved watching him on The Andy Griffith Show and later on Happy Days and American Graffiti. I was so excited when I heard about this book, and even more so when I got a copy from NetGalley for review. I started this book and I couldn’t put it down. It was so fun reading the stories of both Ron and Clint telling about being young and growing up in Hollywood to present day. Reading this book was like sitting around the Ho I have been a fan of Ron Howard since I saw him in The Music Man. I of course loved watching him on The Andy Griffith Show and later on Happy Days and American Graffiti. I was so excited when I heard about this book, and even more so when I got a copy from NetGalley for review. I started this book and I couldn’t put it down. It was so fun reading the stories of both Ron and Clint telling about being young and growing up in Hollywood to present day. Reading this book was like sitting around the Howard’s house listening to Ron and Clint tell their stories like they are your friends. Also, this book is a love letter to Rance and Jean Howard, Their parents. It was absolutely fantastic. They sucked you in right away and keep you entertained until the last page. I can’t wait to recommend this book to people.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan Rigetti

    I absolutely loved this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This was a treat to read! The front cover photo is the key to the whole story: Dad, Rance Howard, is shown walking purposefully down the street while grinning broadly with his arm slung over son Ronny Howard's shoulder, who in turn, has his arm protectively over brother Clint Howard's shoulder! They are the embodiment of a modern Three Musketeers: "One for all, and all for one!" The book is told from two perspectives, that of the famous director and elder brother, Ron Howard, as well as his part This was a treat to read! The front cover photo is the key to the whole story: Dad, Rance Howard, is shown walking purposefully down the street while grinning broadly with his arm slung over son Ronny Howard's shoulder, who in turn, has his arm protectively over brother Clint Howard's shoulder! They are the embodiment of a modern Three Musketeers: "One for all, and all for one!" The book is told from two perspectives, that of the famous director and elder brother, Ron Howard, as well as his partner in film and younger brother, Clint Howard. There are a few less-than-wholesome moments here, (it's a tale set in Hollywood, after all,) but they are far outweighed by the strong family bonds of love and work ethic which shine through both narratives. I was struck by the inescapable fact that in show business, someone must pay the dues for fame and fortune. In the case of the Howard family, it was the parents who tread the actor's path of slogging through audition after audition, begging for a part, any part, accepting low or no pay for walk-ons, taking non-theater-related jobs while "resting" between gigs, developing other skills such as screenwriting, dialog coach, sewing for wardrobe, typing resumes and scripts, living with frustration but never giving up hope, etc. etc. This legacy of the family unit as support system was bred into the two sons of the family who have not only accepted it as a way of life and career, but who recognize its value to them and to the movie-going world at large! Those seeking for a juicy, insider look at celebrities may be in for a surprise. They're there all right, but no negative or derogatory opinions are expressed. The authors may be presenting the show business scene in a more upbeat and positive light than cynics would have us believe is possible, but although the down sides of the "magic" are acknowledged, they don't ever overtake the central message of strength through family ties. Despite that soft approach, the book never felt saccharine or that it was glossing over the rough parts. Kudos to the authors and editors for the fine grammar used through-out!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard is subtitled “A Memoir of Hollywood and Family”. Since, Ron Howard is three years older than me, it could just be titled a nostalgic look into the past. The brothers alternate telling the stories of their family and their careers in television and movies. They grew up as child stars who eventually took different directions in show business. But, their story of their childhood is grounded on solid midwestern ethics and family love and support. Their parents The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard is subtitled “A Memoir of Hollywood and Family”. Since, Ron Howard is three years older than me, it could just be titled a nostalgic look into the past. The brothers alternate telling the stories of their family and their careers in television and movies. They grew up as child stars who eventually took different directions in show business. But, their story of their childhood is grounded on solid midwestern ethics and family love and support. Their parents were from Oklahoma, but Rance and Jean Howard left for New York City and eventually California, hoping to make it into show business. The brothers tell of their parents attempts to make it in the business. Jean eventually quit, and worked in the background, but Rance spent his entire life taking roles in movies and television. But, when young Ron couldn’t even read yet, he found success. With his freckles and red hair, he was in demand. His father didn’t pressure his son, but he was always there as the “child whisperer”, helping his son learn to deal with the business. Ron Howard’s success came with “The Music Man” and “The Andy Griffith Show”. He claims Andy Griffith and his dad effectively charted his course in the business, and, others guided and assisted him in his wish to be a producer. He had a second successful series with “Happy Days”, and found another family with that cast, especially Henry Winkler. Ron was the one on the straight and narrow, while Clint struggled with addictions from the time he was fourteen. Clint had a number of roles in “Bonanza”, “Star Trek”, and three years in “Gentle Ben”. But, like other child stars, he had a troubled adolescence. He spiraled into drugs, from marijuana to cocaine. While his family tried to help, he had to find his own recovery. Ron Howard, as the older brother, and the one most successful on television, writes the greatest part of the book, but they do work closely to tell the stories of their childhood. So many of us will remember Ron Howard as he grew up on television. Clint might not be as recognizable, but he’s had a successful, long career in show business. The book is a nostalgic trip into the past as the brothers share stories of Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, John Wayne, Dennis Weaver, Henry Fonda, and so many others they were lucky enough to work with. Those of us of a certain age will enjoy the memories. Best of all, they share a story of a family “bonded by love”. Readers can be grateful that Ron and Clint Howard took the time to share their memories of the “Howard family culture, one of warmth, encouragement, and gratitude.”

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This biographical account of the Howard brother's life with their parents in Hollywood, and their work in TV and film, is engaging and intimate. The Boys follows the careers of Ron and Clint Howard, when they were two of the biggest child stars in Hollywood (Ron for Andy Griffith, and Clint for Gentle Ben), and through Ron's role as Richie Cunningham in Happy Days and his directorial debut for Grand Theft Auto. Throughout the book, Ron and Clint Howard alternate back and forth, each describing e This biographical account of the Howard brother's life with their parents in Hollywood, and their work in TV and film, is engaging and intimate. The Boys follows the careers of Ron and Clint Howard, when they were two of the biggest child stars in Hollywood (Ron for Andy Griffith, and Clint for Gentle Ben), and through Ron's role as Richie Cunningham in Happy Days and his directorial debut for Grand Theft Auto. Throughout the book, Ron and Clint Howard alternate back and forth, each describing events from their own perspective. I enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Ron and Clint’s childhood, family and career paths. I don’t think I realized the burning passion Ron had for directing. I enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Ron and Clint’s childhood, family and career paths, and Clint’s willingness to discuss his vulnerabilities and road to sobriety. Overall I enjoyed this book. Some of the chapters might not be as exciting for younger readers, especially if you aren't familiar with any of the shows or actors that the brothers are describing; but I think that they do a good job of keeping it interesting by switching perspectives back and forth.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Ironically, much of the success of the Howard family has been the result of the pull of nostalgia and much of the success of this work involves the sparks of remembrances of this old "Boomer"...Just a wonderful telling of one of the oddities, SUCCESS in Hollywood! Its the story of success working in the tv/film industry, which is a rarity and the success down-to-earth, good, honest people in a warm, rather conventional family, rather than the "Holly Weird,” that we are bombarded with...Loved the Ironically, much of the success of the Howard family has been the result of the pull of nostalgia and much of the success of this work involves the sparks of remembrances of this old "Boomer"...Just a wonderful telling of one of the oddities, SUCCESS in Hollywood! Its the story of success working in the tv/film industry, which is a rarity and the success down-to-earth, good, honest people in a warm, rather conventional family, rather than the "Holly Weird,” that we are bombarded with...Loved the Tale!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    A very revealing and enjoyable glimpse into the lives of a Hollywood acting family.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Tuesday nights... 8 o'clock. ABC. That's how I was first introduced to Ron Howard. As a family, we watched "Happy Days" pretty religiously. My mom always seemed to have an afore knowledge of Ron Howard, when she would call him "Ronnie." I wasn't sure why she called him that. Later, I realized that her frame of reference for the actor came from watching "The Andy Griffith Show." As the years went by, Ron would pursue his director role much more than acting. But I would always remember him as "Ric Tuesday nights... 8 o'clock. ABC. That's how I was first introduced to Ron Howard. As a family, we watched "Happy Days" pretty religiously. My mom always seemed to have an afore knowledge of Ron Howard, when she would call him "Ronnie." I wasn't sure why she called him that. Later, I realized that her frame of reference for the actor came from watching "The Andy Griffith Show." As the years went by, Ron would pursue his director role much more than acting. But I would always remember him as "Richie Cunningham." I had the pleasure of both listening to this book and reading it as well. Having Ron and brother Clint read it to me was such a treat! It made the contrast in their lives as brothers even more apparent. Having lived in Oklahoma myself for 7 years, I could identify with the homegrown, good natured personality of his loving parents. As I progressed my way through the memoir, I was amazed at how grounded their parents were able to keep the boys as childhood actors, despite some major and minor acts of rebellion as teenagers. The love and respect both Ron and Clint have for their parents is incredibly admirable and the memoir is really a wonderful tribute to both of them. I also marvel at the longevity of Ron's courtship and marriage to his wife Cheryl. The ways in which his parents tried to keep their boys unaffected by the ills of Hollywood shows in Ron's marriage as well, it seems. Consider listening to the book instead of reading it. Or do both, like I did. It is a treat!

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