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Jean Speegle Howard, 73, the mother of...


Jean Speegle Howard, 73, the mother of actor-director Ron Howard and a successful actress, died Saturday in Burbank, Calif., of heart and respiratory illness.

She was an up-and-coming actress when she put her career on hold to raise her sons, Ron and his actor-brother Clint.

Nearly 60 when she launched a comeback in the mid-1980s, she landed some prominent movie roles, including that of Mrs. Claus in the 1988 film "Scrooged." She also appeared in such TV shows as "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" and "Ellen."

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