Not only did Rance appear in some of his son Ron's biggest films, including Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, but he logged a long list of TV credits on shows like The Waltons, Grey's Anatomy, Babylon 5, and Ron's early TV shows The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.
Howard took to Twitter to announce the news saying that he and his brother Clint were "blessed to be Rance Howar'd sons".
Rance Howard, father of Ron and Clint Howard and a prolific actor in his own right, has died at age 89.
Rance Howard is survived by his two sons; granddaughters Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard; and one great-grandchild.
Rance Howard's death also was confirmed by Michael Rosenberg, a spokesman for his son's production company. "We love and miss you dad", he added.
"He's had a 65-year career where he has never broken out as a movie star, he's never made the money that people dream of, and yet he's carved out this incredibly unique and remarkable and attractive career of a character actor".
He was married to Jean Speegle Howard and Judy Howard, both of whom preceded him in death.
He also appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Chinatown starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway and Alexander Payne's critically acclaimed Nebraska. They married on the tour dressed in their costumes, with the bride dressed as Snow White and the groom as a Huntsman. Besides Ron, he was also the father to actor Clint Howard.