One of the most promising starlets in Hollywood, Bryce Dallas Howard has a
short but distinguished list of credits. Her terrific performance in M. Night
Shyamalan’s “The Village” catapulted her to fame in 2004, and she has since
proven that she has talent to match her famous last name.
Bryce is the daughter of Oscar-winning director and “Happy Days” star Ron Howard and writer Cheryl Alley. Both her
parents sport flaming red hair, and their daughter got her name from the crimson
brilliance of Bryce Canyon, while her middle name Dallas is a nod to the city
she was conceived in. Ultimately born in Los Angeles on March 2, 1981, Howard
grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut with her family, shielded from the craziness
of Hollywood that her laid-back celebrity father desperately wanted to avoid.
She attended the Greenwich Country Day School and Byram Hills High School in
Armonk, New York before moving on to the top-ranked drama program at New York
University’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Stella Adler Conservatory.
Howard was successful on stage after college, performing in plays by
Shakespeare, Chekhov, and George Bernard Shaw, among others. Her film debut came
in the 2003 indie “Book of Love”, and that same year red-hot director M. Night
Shyamalan cast her in “The Village” after being impressed with her in a stage
production. Her subdued performance as a blind woman in Shyamalan’s quirky
period suspense film was a bright spot in an otherwise forgettable picture, and
it helped her land the lead role in controversial Danish director Lars von Trier’s “Manderlay”. A sequel to
his earlier film “Dogville”, Howard had huge shoes to fill in taking over the
role from Nicole Kidman, who was unable
to reprise the role due to scheduling conflicts. Though it wasn’t a commercial
hit (neither was “Dogville”), the highly stylized, enormously depressing
“Manderlay” gave Howard the chance to stretch her acting muscles, and critics
heaped praise on her performance.
This summer has seen Howard serve as Shyamalan’s muse for a second time with
the dismally received “Lady in the Water”. Later this year the talented beauty
will grace screens as Rosalind in Kenneth
Branagh’s promising film version of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”. 2007
will see Howard sporting blonde hair as comic book babe Gwen Stacy in the hotly
anticipated “Spider-Man 3”.