Howard returned to screenwriting with the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin vehicle, "Marriage on the Rocks" (1965) before making his feature directorial debut with the outstanding ensemble comedy "Lovers and Other Strangers" (1970). The film and its director garnered praise for the skillful way it utilized its sharp comic screenplay and the credible and funny performances of Bea Arthur, Richard Castellano, and many others. A subsequent directorial effort, "Every Little Crook and Nanny" (1972), offered a clever premise but was not especially well received. Howard subsequently focused on his writing, which included the screenplay for "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood" (1976). Divorced from actresses Nan Wynn and Gloria Grahame, Howard was married to studio mogul Jack Warner's daughter Barbara.