Hours after the death of actor Rance Howard was announced, his granddaughter, a famed actress in her own right, took to social media to remember him. Howard died on Sunday, at age 89. His granddaughter Bryce Dallas Howard shared a poem her grandfather loved and could recite from memory.
“My grandfather, the patriarch of our family’s favorite poem, he could recite it from heart. I think I’ll do the same now,” Howard posted to Twitter.
The poem by Henry Van Dyke describes love and loss. According to Howard, it is her family’s favorite poem.
In a 2012 interview, Rance Howard was asked if he ever pushed his granddaughter into the world of acting. According to the late actor, she knew what she wanted to do since she was a teenager. Howard recalled one anecdote in which Bryce Dallas Howard was cast in a play in which everyone appeared in the nude.
“I remember Bryce’s mother, Cheryl, almost putting her foot down and saying, ‘No you can’t do that.’ I remember saying to Cheryl, ‘This is college. This is a learning process. Let her do that. If she can do that, it will get rid of all inhibitions, and she will never be inhibited by anything she has to do on the stage or in film,'” Howard recalled. “So Cheryl went along with that. And Bryce did it. I went to see it, and there she is, an 18, 19-year-old girl stark naked.”
On the day he died, Howard was remembered by his famous son, Ron, who commented that he was blessed to have been his father’s son.
“I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s [son]. Today he passed at 89. He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/great personal integrity,” Howard wrote. “A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad.”
Howard was best known for his work playing bit parts on television and in films throughout the 1960s and 1970s. When his son became a famous actor and director, he routinely cast his father in his work. Some of Howard’s best-known stints in his son’s work include turns in “A Beautiful Mind,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “Apollo 13.” Howard continued to act well into his 80s and was working as recently as 2016.