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Renaissance Man
by Richard Jack Smith

Truly, actor Rance Howard -- father of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard -- was a jack of all trades. He played everything from the wedding chaplain in Independence Day to the backer who provides money and advice to Johnny Depp in Ed Wood. So, it’s with a heavy heart that I convey the news of Rance’s passing. He died on November 25 2017, aged 89.

Rance was a wonderful actor, someone whose very presence lent dignity to a project. I always enjoyed watching him. He could be funny, poignant or totally straight-faced. Such depths and layers bespoke an artist that traversed the landscape, leaving many fine impressions.

A poem to celebrate this life:

In Cinderella Man, Rance announced the winner.

He’s the type of chap you’d welcome to dinner.

A Universal Soldier’s dad,

rarely leaving impression bad.


Far and Away, he sold a horse to Tom Cruise.

Generosity he gave, that was his booze.

Some might be content with less

or making the audience guess.


That was the strength in him.

Always bright, hardly dim.

Thank you Rance for your unforgettable contributions to cinema.

Rance Howard (1928-2017)

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