Rance Howard, the father of Ron and Clint Howard, has passed away at the age of 89. The news was broken by Ron Howard in a touching Twitter post about his father, a longtime actor and collaborator with his sons in Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cocoon, and several other films. He’s also appeared in countless other television and film roles, memorably appearing on Seinfeld as an angry farmer who chases Newman away from his daughter with a shotgun and on classic sci-fi series Babylon 5.
Howard’s words, while brief, sparked an outpouring of sympathy and tributes to the director’s father from a number of notable actors and directors who shared the screen with him. This includes Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and director Joe Dante.
Bryce Dallas Howard followed her father’s example and shared a poem that her grandfather could “recite from the heart,” giving some of the family’s possible perspective on their loss:
Numerous other actors and creators in Hollywood were quick to share their own reflections on Rance’s career and their interactions with him, including former Howard collaborator Russell Crowe and actress Adrienne Barbeau:
You’ve certainly seen Rance Howard in numerous roles over the years and he definitely fits the bill as a “that guy” sort of actor. But as his family and friends show with their sympathetic messages, he was much more than just a bit player in films.