Fallbrook’s rolling hills have a long history of providing a quiet, rural sanctuary for Hollywood actors, directors, and personalities. One of Fallbrook’s most colorful celebrity families these days is Todd Howard, his wife, Randye, and 16-year old son, Leo.
Todd and Randye star on and produce the reality show “World’s Worst Tenants” on Spike TV, with partner Rick Moore. The show recently finished its second season.
Leo is a Disney favorite with many film credits including Conan the Barbarian (playing young Conan), two G.I. Joe movies, a recurring role in “Shake it Up,” and an ongoing role on “Kickin’ It.” Leo, a martial arts black belt, has won multiple world championships in his age category.
The perfect foil for this family’s busy Hollywood work life: Fallbrook.
“I really enjoy the small town life and feeling of community in Fallbrook,” Todd said. After growing up in South Carolina, it was his service (1983-87) in the Marine Corps that introduced him to the Fallbrook area. When he finished his military service, Todd went in to the fitness industry and owned nutrition stores. With his finely tuned, chiseled physique, he modeled for Honda ad programs and acted in commercials and videos.
In 1993, he married Randye and began purchasing investment properties with Rick Moore. They now own over 100 rental properties.
Continuing to be an advocate of healthy eating and exercise, Todd’s physical strength and endurance enabled him to manage the investment properties easily, including the occasional but necessary tenant eviction… hence the idea for “World’s Worst Tenants.”
The only challenge in producing the television show was relating eviction situations in a slim 30-minute time slot.
“In order to due that, the reality show features reenactments of confrontations we have had with real-life tenants; sometimes these situations can occur over three months, but we have only minutes to portray it on television,” Todd explained.
But the stories are real, he confirmed. “We handle everything relating to our properties ourselves. They are our stories from real life. They really happened. Evictions are not our main job, but we have had to perform them. And we have haters out there.”
Todd said the majority of their renters are not a problem. “Most of our tenants are good people and we love them; however, we have been to court over 100 times with tenants; it seems like we are always in court.” And those types of experiences can produce threats, he admitted.
“We have been in dangerous situations – we’ve dealt with crack heads, had a squatter pull a gun on us, and we get threats all the time.”
With his distinctive, gravelly voice, Todd, 47, plays the perfect tough guy role in the show.
As the third season is about to begin, Todd and Randye just recorded “Pay Day,” a song they wrote and performed together, in hopes it will be the new theme song for the show.
Meanwhile, Leo, who is now 16 and a veteran actor, is known for his movie roles as well as his accomplished martial arts skills in “Kickin’ It.” Just because he has enjoyed tremendous success as a child actor doesn’t mean Leo gets out of household chores,
Todd said. Some of those chores are related to the family’s love of English and French Bulldogs, which they breed.
“Leo still has a normal life that includes household and yard chores,” Todd said. Leo, who is homeschooled, films eight months out of the year, while Todd and Randye film three months out of 12.
Fallbrook is the same, safe haven for this family that other people in the acting industry have found.
“I am really happy we live in Fallbrook, especially since my son is an actor,” Todd said. “We have a place in L.A. too, but coming home to our Fallbrook ranch is like going to a different state.
We like all kinds of outdoor activities and also love to go fishing and scuba diving in Oceanside.” Supporting efforts to assist wounded warriors and the Veterans 360 organization is another passion of Todd’s.
“I am a big patriot,” he said.
In Fallbrook, they are just another family, and that suits them just fine.
“We get lots of attention in L.A., and that’s okay because the fans pay our salaries,” Todd said. “We love that, but Fallbrook is cool. Here it’s no big deal what we do. We are always happy to drive home to the country.”