Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard

UPDATED 08/09/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/09/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

AGE 23
RESUME She stars in The Village, director M. Night Shyamalan's latest thriller
PEDIGREE Daughter of Ron Howard; goddaughter of Fonzie

Sometimes dads just need their egos stroked a little—even Oscar-winning dads like Ron Howard, whose daughter Bryce rebuffed his help before a '98 audition. As she recalls," 'I'm one of the Top 10 directors!' he said. 'People would die to do monologues with me!'"

Yes, the last name's the same—ditto the Mayberry-red hair and freckles—but otherwise Bryce Dallas Howard is striking out on her own. After honing her chops on the Broadway stage, Howard makes her leading-lady film debut in The Village. "She exudes this light," says her costar Adrien Brody.

The oldest of four kids raised by Ron, 50, and mom Cheryl, 50, a writer, Howard "was destined to act," says her godfather Henry Winkler—even if she first tried to ignore the family biz. "Telling everyone I wanted to go into forensic anthropology," says the single star, "was my form of rebellion."

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