Ron Howard: I grew up faster than a normal child

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Ron Howard was forced to grow up faster credit:Bang Showbiz
Ron Howard was forced to grow up faster credit:Bang Showbiz

Ron Howard grew up "faster" than a normal kid.

The 67-year-old star shot to fame as a child actor, starring in 'The Andy Griffith Show' between 1960 and 1968, and Ron has recalled being exposed to some very adult language at an early age on the set of the sitcom.

Remembering the drinking and smoking habits of the cast and crew, Ron added: "My eyes were always burning."

Ron also remembered being called disparaging names by the cast and crew behind his back.

He admitted: "[They didn't do it] with any kindness."

Andy Griffith, the show's main star, and Don Knotts - who played the part of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife - were both going through marriage troubles during Ron's time on set.

He recalled: "Both men were visiting psychologists to work through their stuff."

At one stage, Andy was encouraged to work extra-long hours on set just to avoid spending too much time at home.

Ron told the US edition of Closer magazine: "I saw him endure genuine pain."

Despite his turbulent experience, Ron thinks working on the show taught him some valuable lessons about Hollywood.

The actor-turned-director - who played the part of Opie Taylor on the sitcom - explained: "I will forever owe a debt to Opie Taylor.

"The experience of inhabiting that character, walking a mile in his Keds, defined my early life."

Ron previously admitted to living his life in a Hollywood "bubble".

However, as a filmmaker, he's always keen to explore new "life experiences".

He said: "I grew up as a child actor, been working all my life, and I love it. But it does create a kind of bubble.

"So I look for projects that lead me to life experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise had - and on my own I’m an introverted, risk-averse individual. But, when there’s a story to be told, it gets me out of the house, talking to people, learning things. And then I just go."

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