Ron Howard faced kidnapping threats for his children
The FBI had to get involved during the security threat.
Ron Howard might just be one of the most successful former child stars in the industry. After winning hearts as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, he had another hit series with Happy Days, and then became a powerhouse director and producer. He's certainly done well for himself.
Unfortunately, success can have a dark side as well — it can put a target on your back for people who have less-than-pure intentions. Even more terrifyingly, it can put a target on your children.
Knowing someone is after your children is a chilling thought for any parent, and it's something that Ron Howard had to deal with when they were young.
Bryce Dallas Howard recently opened up about being the subject of kidnapping threats as a child. "Growing up, we had some security issues. It was super scary,” Dallas Howard said. "And we had to leave our house, and there were, you know, incidents that were just totally, totally terrifying."
Eventually, the FBI had to get involved. The family learned that their phones had been tapped and there were vehicles in the area that fit the description of "some of the people they thought might be involved," Ron Howard said.
"I think the scariest part for me was that I, because I was the oldest child, I was aware something was going on,” Dallas Howard said. “And it was like, ‘Why can’t I call my friends?’ And, you know, they don’t want to explain to me because [our] frickin’ phones are tapped, trying to find where we are?”
Ron Howard said that they never learned of the exact objectives of these bad actors, but he knew it "was not good."
"It was very traumatic," Howard said. "But thank god ― no crimes were committed." Eventually, explained Howard, the suspects left the state, and the threat passed. However, the experience stuck with him. "The reality is that once you've felt that vulnerability, you're forever on your guard. You go on, and you figure out ways to live with it, but you can't forget about it."
Howard directed the 1996 thriller Ransom as a way to cope with some of those lingering anxieties. "It's the only time I've wanted to do a crime story... this was emotional, and raw, and personal for me."