Ron Howard has been a familiar face in Hollywood for nearly his entire life, spanning almost 70 years. Starting his career as a toddler, he has maintained a relentless pace in film and television. Alongside his illustrious career, Howard has also enjoyed a long and stable personal life, being married to his wife Cheryl for almost 50 years.

Born on March 1, 1954, in Duncan, Oklahoma, Ronald Howard began his journey to becoming a Hollywood legend at just 18 months old, appearing in his first film, “Frontier Woman.” By the age of two, he made his stage debut in “The Seven Year Itch.” His rise to fame began in earnest with his role on “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1960 to 1968, where he played Opie, the son of Griffith’s character.

During this time, Howard had the unwavering support of his parents, both of whom were in the entertainment industry. He recalls a conversation with his parents: “Remember how we always said, ‘You can do it if you want, but you don’t have to?’ Well if you start this, you can’t quit.” This message resonated with Howard, who understood the commitment required and was clearly enjoying and excelling in his roles.

Howard’s career continued to ascend as he took on various roles. While still on “The Andy Griffith Show,” he appeared in the successful musical film “The Music Man” in 1962. His talent shone through, leading to his role in the 1973 film “American Graffiti,” alongside Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss, and Cindy Williams.

In 1974, Howard was cast as Richie Cunningham in Garry Marshall’s “Happy Days,” a show that aired until 1984 and became a staple of American television. The show also led to popular spin-offs like “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy.”

In 1970, before his Golden Globe-winning performance on “Happy Days,” Howard met his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley. They married in 1975, and Howard has often spoken about their enduring relationship. “I met her, and there was never anybody else,” he told People, emphasizing their strong bond and mutual support.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first date, Howard shared on Instagram a nostalgic post about their first outing in his 1970 VW Bug, which they still drive. Cheryl has made several cameos in Howard’s projects, and he considers her his “good luck charm,” ensuring she appears in every film he makes.

Cheryl is not only a supportive partner but also a published author with degrees in psychology and screenwriting. Together, the couple has four children—Bryce, twins Paige and Jocelyn, and son Reed—and six grandchildren. Bryce is a well-known actress, Paige has appeared in films like “Adventureland,” Reed is a professional golfer, and Jocelyn prefers to keep her life private.

As they approach their 49th anniversary, Howard attributes their lasting marriage to good communication and a bit of luck. “People say, ‘How’d you do it?’ There’s no technique,” Howard explained to People. “You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways. Beyond that, there’s an element of luck because people either grow together or they don’t and I don’t think you can force that.”