It's been 40 years since "Happy Days" debuted, but Ron Howard will never forget the decade of fun he had playing Richie Cunningham on the hit series.

"The audience getting us pumped up for each show is something I'll always remember," Howard reveals to Closer.

And even though the actor was still in film school when he got offered the part, he admits the role was "too good of a job to pass up."

The softball games he participated in with his castmates are equally as dear.

"We played in leagues and charity games all through the show," notes the 59-year-old, who adds that their team spirit is still alive and well.

"When we see each other, it's like we pick up just like it was yesterday," the star tells Closer.

ron howard

Ron Howard (far right) on "Happy Days"

Nowadays, Howard prefers directing over acting. He won a Best Director Oscar for his 2001 film "A Beautiful Mind," which also took home the Best Picture prize.

Most recently, the former actor directed the action film "Rush" about Formula One racing in the 1970s and the Jay-Z documentary "Made in America."