Ron Howard Remembers Andy Griffith: He 'Shaped My Life'

Getty Images

The Oscar-winning director got his start in Hollywood on "The Andy Griffith Show."

With the death Tuesday of Andy Griffith, America lost a long-time TV best friend; Ron Howard lost a TV dad.

Howard, who is now one of Hollywood's top directors, made his first major mark in show business as a child actor in The Andy Griffith Show, in which he played Opie, the son of Sheriff Andy Taylor. Howard remembered Griffith on Twitter shortly after the news of his passing broke, writing, "Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."

In an interview with PopEater in 2010, Howard said of Griffith, "He treated me really well, but he made it a learning experience, not in a stern, taskmaster kind of a way, but I was really allowed a real insight into creativity and how things work and why some scenes were funny and others weren't. That insight has served me really well over the years. Andy was really kind to me, always playful and fun, but, by the same token, he wanted to get the work done."

Howard appeared in 209 of 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, in which he was billed as Ronny Howard.