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Ron Howard is one of Hollywood's top directors. He's been at the helm of numerous blockbusters and award-winning films, including the Academy Award-winning Cocoon, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas & A Beautiful Mind. In 2003, Howard was awarded the National Medal of Arts. The filmmaker made his directorial debut in 1977, starring in a low-budget comedy he also wrote called Grand Theft Auto. The project was made possible by Roger Corman, who cut a deal with Ron in exchange for his starring in Eat My Dust! with Christopher Norris. A former child star, Ron Howard rose to prominence with his portrayal of Opie Taylor on "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968). He began to focus on directing in the early 80's, leaving his gig playing teenager Richie Cunningham on the sitcom "Happy Days" to pursue this area of film.