January 2, 2017


Ronald Howard (1918-1996) b. Norwood, England.

Ronald Howard

Born in London on April 7th 1918, Ronald Howard was the first child of actor Leslie Howard and wife Ruth.

At Cambridge, Howard devoted himself to journalism, eventually writing for the Sunday Chronicle. After serving in the Royal Navy during WWII, he pursued his acting career. His early roles included bit parts in his father’s Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Pimpernel Smith (1941); his official debut was While the Sun Shines (1947). Howard resisted efforts to get him to change his name to Leslie Howard, Jr. He further honed his craft at the Windsor Repertory Theatre.

Best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes in the 1954 television series, he also won parts in Bond Street (1947), My Brother Jonathan (1948), The Queen of Spades (1949), Portrait of Clare (1950) and The Browning Version (1951). While much of his work is comprised of B-pictures, he did secure some interesting television work in the UK, as well as in America. Sadly, his talent went largely unappreciated; his roles becoming increasingly scarce, and less interesting, even while his good looks and sonorous voice never left him.

Ronald Howard finally left acting in the mid 70s to run a West Dorset art gallery. He also resumed writing; reflecting on the Dorset countryside, the war, and in 1981 wrote his book, "In Search of My Father: Portrait of Leslie Howard. He also edited a book on his father’s writing.

Ronald Howard died on 19 December 1996 at age 78.

©Ruth Voboril

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