Clinton Howard is the second son born to American actors Rance and Jean Howard, and younger brother of actor and director Ron Howard.
His 200-plus acting credits include feature films such as The Waterboy and Apollo 13, as well as television series, such as Gentle Ben, The Baileys of Balboa, The Cowboys, My Name Is Earl, and several entries in the Star Trekfranchise. He has appeared in many films directed by his brother, Ron, and had a small role in the 1967 animated film The Jungle Book.
Howard began his career when he was two, appearing in five episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, then starring his older brother Ron. He played Leon, a toddler in a cowboy outfit who wandered around Mayberry and silently offered people a bite of his sandwich, to which they would respond, “No thanks, Leon”. Other early notable roles include his appearance on The Streets of San Francisco in the episode entitled “The House on Hyde Street”, and The Virginian as Tommy, the proud owner of a new litter of pups in the episode entitled “Melanie”.
In 1963, he appeared in the ABC medical drama Breaking Point in the role of four year old Mikey in the episode “The Gnu, Now Almost Extinct”. He also played little Billy Taft, the nephew of Dr. Richard Kimble, in the season one episode of The Fugitive, “Home is the Hunted” (1964).
His first prominent role was as a regular on the series Gentle Ben (1967–69). He also starred in “The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes”, an episode segment of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, as Herbie, a ten-year-old boy who predicts the near future, and played Billy in the made for television version of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, with Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara.
Howard appeared in various Star Trek episodes:
• In 1966, he appeared as the powerful but childlike alien Balok in “The Corbomite Maneuver,” a season one episode of Star Trek: The Original Series (although not the first episode broadcast, it was the first episode of season one to be produced after the pilot episodes). The appearance is a well-remembered one in Star Trek history, and he briefly reprised the character in 2006 on Comedy Central’s roast of William Shatner.
• “Past Tense Part II,” a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
• “Acquisition,” a season one episode of Star Trek: Enterprise
• “Will You Take My Hand,” a season one episode of Star Trek: Discovery
• “Under the Cloak of War,” a season two episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
• As a nod to Howard’s prominent place in Star Trek culture, he played a part in Star Trek director J. J. Abrams’ series Fringe; in the season one episode, “The Road Not Taken”, playing a man who thought he was the son of Sarek of Vulcan. He discussed a fictitious plot by Romulans from the future, much like the one in Abrams’ own Star Trek film. (In the next episode, Leonard Nimoy was revealed to be the mysterious character he was discussing.)
In 2003, Howard played Johnny Bark on Arrested Development in the season one episode “Key Decisions”, which was produced and narrated by his brother, Ron. He was seen in an episode of Married… with Children as a creepy janitor. He played a car thief/murderer Tobias Lehigh Nagy in the season four Seinfeld episode “The Trip”. Howard played Creepy Rodney in the season one My Name Is Earl episode “Stole a Badge”, and he was a guest star in the season three episode of the NBC show Heroes “I Am Sylar”.
In his film debut The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963), he played a child party guest standing on a table at his birthday party.
Howard also voiced Roo in Disney’s animated shorts Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), which were later incorporated into The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), and Hathi Jr. in The Jungle Book (1967).
Howard has appeared in seventeen films directed by his brother, Ron Howard, including Ron’s first directorial effort — a short film called Old Paint — when Clint was ten. He also starred in Ron’s first full-length feature, Grand Theft Auto. Other roles in the elder Howard’s films include: John Dexter in Cocoon (1985), Paul in Gung Ho (both film and TV series), pathologist Ricco in Backdraft (1991), Lou in Parenthood, Flynn in Far and Away (1992), flight controller Seymour Liebergot in Apollo 13 (1995), Ken in EDtv (1999), Whobris in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), and Harry the referee in Cinderella Man (2005).
He also played Sheriff Purdy in The Missing (2003), Lloyd Davis in Frost/Nixon (2008), Herbert Trimpy in The Dilemma, and Paul Lucas in the episodes “Spider” and “We Interrupt This Program” of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, which was produced by Ron.
He played Eaglebauer in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, Usher in Get Crazy, Paco in The Waterboy, Arthur Lynne in Uwe Boll’s Heart of America, cellmate Slinky in Tango & Cash, KJZZ disk jockey in That Thing You Do!, Johnson Ritter in the Austin Powers series, another flight controller in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Nipples in Little Nicky (2000), Gregory Tudor in the low budget film Ice Cream Man (1995), Rughead in The Wraith(1986), Stanley Coopersmith in Evilspeak (1981), Kate the Caterer in The Cat in the Hat (2003), Doctor Koplenson in Halloween (2007), and appeared in the romantic comedies, Play the Game and Speed-Dating.
He also played Sanders in Alabama Moon and Dr. Owen in Nobody Gets Out Alive, which was written and directed by filmmaker Jason Christopher.
He appeared in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which his brother Ron directed.