In 1985, Ron Howard and his wife, Cheryl Alley, decided to move their family – which included four children – from Los Angeles, California to Greenwich, Connecticut. At the time, it was a surprising move to those who knew Ron – especially his producing partner, Brian Grazer, who was blindsided by it.
He explained as much in an interview with Graham Bensinger. “I couldn’t imagine him not being in the same location. Where I could just walk into his office or he could walk into mine,” said Grazer. The move came the same year Howard and Grazer created their production company, Imagine Entertainment.
Ron Howard, who also sat down with Bensinger, described how Grazer would attempt to draw him back to LA. He recalled one memory where Grazer told him it would be the perfect time to move back to LA because they just had an earthquake and property values were decreasing. Howard, of course, declined.
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Until now, the public didn’t really have a clear answer as to why Ron Howard decided to move out of LA in the first place. In his interview with Graham Bensinger on In Depth With Graham Bensinger, Howard and his daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, detailed the reasoning behind that move and it makes a lot of sense.
“We could just see that LA could be pretty constricting and emotionally reductive. You know, we were hearing stories about kindergarten kids being taunted by other kindergarten kids, saying ‘My dad’s hotter than your dad,’” Howard said of the move. He wasn’t fond of the culture and lifestyle that came with LA.
His daughter, Bryce, told a story about her preschool days when someone handed her a script in hopes of her dad reading it and liking it enough to direct a movie around it. Unfortunately for the script writer, it didn’t quite have that effect and it was moments like those that ultimately led Howard to move out of LA.
“I think my parents realized that being raised in Los Angeles, so much of the culture of this city is centered around the entertainment industry. And they sort of didn’t want to raise us in an environment that felt that singular,” Bryce said – adding they, instead, moved to a home with a lot of land and a lot of farm animals.
Howard seconded that sentiment and explained how his wife, Cheryl, didn’t want their kids ‘subjected to that on a regular basis.’ Luckily, Bryce was young enough that she doesn’t have many memories of that time – which she credits to her parents, who were protective of her and kept her out of the public eye.
Ron Howard is Proud of How His Children Grew Up
At one point in the interview, Ron Howard talks about how proud he is of his children – he has four of them, including Bryce, 42, twins Jocelyn and Paige, 38, and Reed, 35. He enjoys who they are and how they live, describing them as ‘very principled’ and engaged, creative, and good problem solvers.
Ron and Cheryl’s parenting style came as a result of their own childhoods. Ron said he grew up on a farm in a small town and had parents who were very frugal, while Cheryl was raised without a lot of means. Because of that, they were focused on embedding their children with an understanding of real value.
“My mom, in particular, was very, very focused on creating a childhood that wasn’t a reflection of the privilege that I was being raised in,” Bryce said – adding that her parents wanted her and her siblings to do a lot of physical labor in service. She also described her mother as ‘strict, but strict for good reason.’
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Looking at their family and, particularly, the success of Bryce as a director, it’s clear that the move to Connecticut was the right decision for their well-being. Bryce takes after her father in many ways and credits her time spent with him in writing rooms, on set, and in dailies for her own success in film.
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