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Rance Howard, actor dad of director Ron Howard, dies at 89

LOS ANGELES — Veteran Hollywood actor Rance Howard, the father of director Ron Howard, died Saturday. He was 89.

Ron Howard announced his father's death on Twitter Saturday afternoon. He praised his father for the ability to balance ambition with great personal integrity.

"A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history," he wrote. "We love & miss U Dad."

Rance Howard's death also was confirmed by Michael Rosenberg, a spokesman for his son's production company.

The elder Howard was the father of actor Clint Howard and grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard.

Rance Howard, Judy Howard
In this Nov. 11, 2013 file photo, Rance Howard, left, and his wife Judy pose together at the 2013 AFI Fest premiere of the film at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Rance Howard had been married to the late Jean Speegle Howard. They met as teenagers doing a touring children's production in Oklahoma of classic fairy tales like "Snow White" and "Cinderella." They married on the tour dressed in their costumes, with the bride dressed as Snow White and groom as a huntsman.

The elder Howard's acting career spanned several decades since the 1950s. He appeared in several of Ron Howard's films, including "Apollo 13," ''A Beautiful Mind," ''Splash," ''How the Grinch Stole Christmas," ''Parenthood" and "Grand Theft Auto."

Other film credits include "Chinatown" and the 2013 drama "Nebraska." On television, he appeared on many series including "Seinfeld," ''Murder, She Wrote," ''NCIS: Los Angeles," ''Grey's Anatomy" and Ron Howard's starring series, "Happy Days."

Rance Howard, Jean Speegle Howard, Cheryl Howard, Ron Howard
In this May 23, 2005, file photo, Ron Howard, far right, poses with his wife Cheryl, second from right, and his parents,Rance Howard and actress Jean Speegle Howard, in the Universal City section of Los Angeles. AP