Clint Howard doesn't remember being on The Andy Griffith Show
He says he doesn't remember starting as the cowboy Leon.
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Little Clint Howard never says a word. Not on The Andy Griffith Show. Clint, the younger brother of Opie actor Ron Howard, stays completely silent on his five appearances during his time on the show. The small cowboy, named Leon, is known for offering Mayberry residents a bite of the sandwich he always seems to be eating, but he never says anything.
Still, for a little cowboy who never says a word, he remains a beloved character and an iconic face from The Andy Griffith Show. He even got a commercial with Andy himself, where he finally spoke — declaring Jell-O brand chocolate pudding "good".
In an interview with AV Club, Clint Howard recently spoke about his first onscreen role as little Leon. "December of 1961 was my first day of employment, and that was The Andy Griffith Show," Howard said.
His hiring on his older brother's show was a thing of complete chance. "Mom would have to come down and watch Ron, and at the time, not wanting to hire a babysitter, Mom just brought me along, and I would wear my little cowboy outfit," Howard said. He was hanging around the set in his cowboy outfit when a director spotted him. "Bob Sweeney saw me one day and said, 'We’ve got to use him. There’s a bit we can do."
However, Howard says that he has no memory of this first taste of stardom. "What I remember are the conversations and the talks with Mom and Dad about all this, but I do not remember when I started in the entertainment business."
"I really start having memories in show business at about the age of 5," Howard said, "so like I tell people, I’ve been paying attention for about 55 years and have actually been in the business for 60."