Howell was born in Los Angeles. As a young boy, he wanted to be a stuntman and was a child stunt performer.
He began acting at the age of four. In 1974, he graduated from The National Conservatory for Drama Arts and then started to work in movies and TV series.
- Poseidon Adventure
- The Outsiders
- The Amazing Spiderman
- Ray Donovan
- Marvel's The Punisher
- Animal Kingdom
- He was considered for the role of Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future.