Bryce Dallas Howard was born March 2, 1981 and is an American actress and director.
She was born in Los Angeles, California, to writer Cheryl Howard and actor-director Ron Howard. She has two younger sisters, twins Jocelyn and Paige, and a younger brother named Reed. Through her father, she is a granddaughter of actors Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard as well as a niece of actor Clint Howard. Her godfather is actor Henry Winkler, who co-starred on Happy Days with her father.
All of the Howard children were raised away from the world of show business. Their parents did not allow them access to television and instead encouraged outdoor activities and hobbies. At the age of seven, however, she was allowed to be an extra in her father’s movies. In an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2017, she mentioned that she and her siblings were babysat by family friend Tom Cruise on several occasions. She was raised in Westchester County, New York, and on a farm in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Howard attended Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts camp in upstate New York, with actress Natalie Portman. After attending Greenwich Country Day School until 1996 and then graduating from Byram Hills High School in 1999, Howard studied at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts for three years, during which time she also attended the Stella Adler Conservatory, The Experimental Wing, and International Theatre Wing in Amsterdam. During her schooling, she took part in the concept recording of the Broadway-bound musical A Tale of Two Cities. She left New York University without completing her degree. Decades later, she returned and completed her degree in 2020.
Howard is also an alumna of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s School at Steppenwolf in Chicago, and of The Actors Center in New York City. During her time in New York, Howard was also a member of downtown theater company Theater Mitu, in residence at New York Theatre Workshop, who are known for their exploration of theatrical forms.
For several years, Howard appeared in New York plays. Among these were House & Garden, a 2002 Alan Ayckbourn production held at the Manhattan Theatre Club, in which she portrayed a disdainful, flirtatious teen. While performing as Rosalind in the critically acclaimed 2003 William Shakespeare comedy production As You Like It at The Public Theater, Howard caught the eye of director M. Night Shyamalan who cast her in the psychological thriller The Village (2004). It proved to be her breakout role and she subsequently starred in the title role of Shyamalan’s fantasy thriller Lady in the Water (2006).
She appeared as Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi’s superhero film Spider-Man 3 (2007). Howard went on to appear in the action film Terminator Salvation (2009) and the fantasy film The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), both of which were financially successful but garnered mixed reviews from critics. Howard had supporting roles in the acclaimed 2011 comedy-dramas 50/50 and The Help. She gained wider recognition for starring as Claire Dearing in the adventure film Jurassic World (2015) and its sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), which rank as her most financially successful films. She also had a starring role in the adventure film Pete’s Dragon (2016) and a supporting role in the Elton John biopic Rocketman (2019).
Howard’s directorial ventures include a segment of the television drama film Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (2013), the documentary Dads (2019), and episodes of the Disney+ science fiction series The Mandalorian (2019–2020).
Howard openly discussed having experienced post-partum depression. With the help of a physician and a therapist she recovered from the depression, which lasted for about 18 months.