Ron Howard has no doubt made a name for himself as the A-List director of big-budget films including 'Apollo 13' and 'A Beautiful Mind.' Television fans also remember Ron Howard "the actor" for his role as aw-shucks teenager Richie Cunningham in 'Happy Days' in the 1970s, but no doubt his most lasting role will forever be Opie Taylor on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' which he played with earnest simplicity from 1960 to 1968.

When PopEater summoned Ron's input in support of the 50th Anniversary of 'The Andy Griffith Show' (aka, TAGS), this very busy director was happy to oblige. He called from the editing room where he was doing some work on a new film, 'The Dilemma.' He was delighted to go down memory lane with us, recalling how he got the role of Opie, his special bond with Andy Griffith and how his experience on the show helped cultivate his desire to become a director. The 56-year-old father of four (and grandfather of one!) began the role at the age of six, ending it barley into his teens at 14.