Ron Howard reveals hair loss was due to anxiety over The Fonz eclipsing his character in Happy Days

After starting out as a child actor, he shot to worldwide fame as Richie Cunningham in Happy Days back in 1974. 

And now Ron Howard, 67, has revealed that he began losing his hair aged 20 due to anxiety over Henry Winkler’s The Fonz eclipsing his character in the American sitcom. 

In his joint memoir with brother Clint, 62, titled The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, the actor detailed how he developed a stress-induced skin condition which resulted in his hair ‘falling out in alarming clumps’.

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What happened? In his memoir titled, The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, Ron Howard, 67, has revealed that he began losing his hair aged 20 (Pictured in 2020)

During the early run of Happy Days – which ran for a decade – ABC toyed with renaming the show ‘Fonzie’s Happy Days’ such was the character’s popularity.

In his book, Ron explains: ‘The biggest stressor of all was Fonzie. Not Henry [Winkler], but Fonzie.

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‘It did not escape my notice that as the season went on, the Fonz was getting more and more screen time.

‘I didn’t handle my stress particularly well,’ he writes. ‘I probably would have benefited from seeing a psychotherapist … Instead, I kept everything inside. 

Stress: The actor explained that he began losing hair due to anxiety over Henry Winkler’s The Fonz eclipsing his character, Richie Cunningham, in Happy Days (Pictured together on show)

Anxiety: ‘The biggest stressor of all was Fonzie. Not Henry, but Fonzie. It did not escape my notice that as the season went on, the Fonz was getting more and more screen time’ wrote Ron (Pictured in 1977)

‘Then I started breaking out in eczema rashes all over my body, most acutely on my eyelids … And my hair started thinning.

‘Looking at the men on both sides of my family, I knew it was inevitable … But it started coming out in alarming clumps during this time.’

Ron eventually left Happy Days in 1980 to focus on directing, producing and sometimes writing a variety of films and television series, including Splash and Willow.

He went on to direct A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code and many others, picking up numerous awards for his work along the way.

Honest: ‘I didn’t handle my stress particularly well… I started breaking out in eczema rashes all over my body, most acutely on my eyelids … And my hair started thinning’ admitted Ron (Pictured in 1980)

Brothers: Ron opened up about his hair loss in his joint memoir with brother Clint, 62, titled The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family (Pictured together in 2019)

Ron and wife Cheryl recently celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary at the beginning of June.

The couple tied the knot at just 21 years old on June 7, 1975 when he was still an actor while she worked as a writer. 

They have four children together: actress Bryce Dallas Howard, twins Jocelyn Carlyle and Paige Howard, and son Reed Cross. 

A milestone: Ron and wife Cheryl recently celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary at the beginning of June