Talking with Paxton and Jaime about Clint Howard and his famous family lineage in the first episode of the CFC podcast got me thinking a bit more about the legendary character actor and why I think he’s so interesting. With over 200 film and TV roles to his credit (and no less than 10 slated for release in the coming year), Clint Howard has been consistently working in Hollywood since he turned 4 years-old back in 1963. Not only has he made memorable appearances in almost every Star Trek series (including the original ’66 show), he was also the child star of his own series called Gentle Ben as well as the original voice of Roo in the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh movie.
But it’s the familial connections when it comes to his TV show and film-ography that I find fascinating. He’s been sticking pretty close to the heels of his older brother Ron ever since Ron’s starring turn on the Andy Griffith Show. He also appeared on Happy Days, and has had roles in sixteen of Ron’s twenty one major motion pictures he is credited with directing (Clint is absent in five films including Willow, Ransom, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, and Angels & Demons.) Seems like Ron always finds a place for Clint in his films, even if that role goes un-credited and is in the form of an amazing special effect!
That’s right, talking about Clint Howard brought to mind my favorite bit of useless movie trivia from Ron Howard’s 1988 fantasy epic Willow. In the lead up to the climax of the film, the heroes Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), MadMartigan (Val Kilmer), and Franjean & Rool (Rick Overton and Kevin Pollack respectively) hole themselves up in the cursed castle of Tir Asleen. In an attempt to dispatch a troll, Willow mistakenly transforms the poor wretched creature into a hideous, phallic, two-headed dragon (affectionately named Eborsisk, after movie critic duo Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.) Legend has it that when designing the beast’s visage (visages?), Ron chose to base it on his brother Clint’s appearance. So, in a way, even though he isn’t present in the film to chew any scenery (Eborsisk does plenty of that in his stead), Clint does in fact make his 17th appearance in one of his brother’s films, albeit as a two-headed phallic dragon/troll. Nothing quite says “brotherly love” quite like a double-headed, flame-belching penis monster…
So, we’d like to hear from you, what’s your favorite Clint Howard role?