The elder Howard also was the father of actor Clint Howard and grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard.
He moved to NY and was cast with son Ron Howard in "The Journey", the TCM archives said.
Rance was born on November 17, 1928 in Duncan, OK and he got his start in acting at just 20 years old, when he landed a gig with a traveling theater company.
The actor's son, Director Ron Howard, took to social media today to announce his regrettable death.
Ron Howard kept many of his movies in the family. "Today he passed at 89", the 63-year-old wrote, referring to his brother Clint Howard, who is also an actor. He stood especially tall [for] his ability to balance ambition [with] great personal integrity.
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Adding: 'A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. "We love & miss U Dad", Ron wrote on Twitter. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this hard time. She had this to say.
Like his son, Rance Howard began his career appearing in several classic television shows such as Combat!, The Fugitive, Night Gallery, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and even a few episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. He had a regular role on "Gentle Ben", along with his younger son, Clint Howard.
Mr. Howard, as he called himself, changing his name for casting purposes, studied drama at the University of Oklahoma and appeared alongside Henry Fonda in a national touring production of the World War II play "Mister Roberts".
He also appeared in numerous films Ron directed, including Angels & Demons, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Apollo 13, and directorial debut Grand Theft Auto.