All About Terry Mandel? Who Is Howie Mandel's Wife

Howie Mandel and his wife, Terry Mandel (née Soil), are childhood sweethearts

Published Time: 19.06.2024 - 21:31:18 Modified Time: 19.06.2024 - 21:31:18

Howie Mandel and his wife, Terry Mandel (née Soil), are childhood sweethearts.

The pair have been married for over 40 years, tying the knot on Mar. 16, 1980, but they first met when they were kids. Like Howie, Terry was born in Toronto, Canada, and the two attended high school together at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute.

As the America's Got Talent host recalled during an appearance on Today with Hoda & Jenna, the duo met in line while waiting to buy french fries. "I actually borrowed money from her. I didn't know her, and I was short a couple of bucks for french fries and she lent me money. She was, like, 14 at the time and she lent me money. And I've been paying her back ever since," Howie explained.

In the years since, the couple have celebrated many milestones, including the births of their three children and several creative collaborations.

While appearing on Live! With Kelly and Ryan in 2019, Howie joked that these days, his "lovely wife" is not the same person he once knew. "Now she's in love with Bradley Cooper and not me," he quipped as an image of Terry and the A Star is Born actor popped up on the screen.

He's continued to lovingly joke about his relationship, telling PEOPLE in September 2023 that the secret to his marriage is that Terry "doesn't speak or understand a word of English."

“Communication is overrated,” he joked. “I've been married for 43 years and we haven't said a word to each other.”

So who is Howie Mandel's wife? Here's everything to know about Terry Mandel and her decades-long marriage to the comedian.

After first meeting at the concession stand at their local Y, Howie started courting Terry when they were both in their early teens — though Terry rejected his early advances.

"She said no until I was like … I think the first time I dated her I was 19. She didn't want to go out with me," he recalled on Today.

The couple's first date was at the movie theater, but it almost ended in disaster due to bad weather.

"We drove to the movies in my mother's Cutlass Supreme. The car hit an ice patch and wound up teetering on its side before coming down on four wheels," he told The Wall Street Journal in 2018.

Lucky for Howie, Terry finds him as funny as the rest of his fans. Of his proposal to his future wife, the comedian told Streets of Toronto, "I was sitting in a deli, and I'd bought a loose diamond, and I put it on the table and said, 'I got to go to the bathroom, but if you want to make a ring go ahead.' "

He added, "I'm not a romantic; neither of us is romantic. One time in 43 years, I brought flowers home, and she said, 'Where did you get these?' The truth is, I did take them from the set that I was working on."

The couple share three kids: a son, Alex, born in 1989, and two daughters, Jackie and Riley, born in 1984 and 1992, respectively.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Jackie opened up about having anxiety and OCD, like her dad.

"My dad is very open about going to therapy and erasing the stigma," she said. "Whenever I was upset or sad or having a bad day, I knew I could reach out."

Howie and Terry are also grandparents to Jackie's kids, Abbey and Axel. In January 2023, the Deal or No Deal host shared an Instagram post of his daughter and granddaughter. He paired it with the caption: "my baby @jackelynshultz and her baby #family."

Terry is a talent agent and television producer, having worked alongside her husband on a few different projects.

She was an associate producer on the 1985 TV special Howie Mandel: Live from Carnegie Mall. The couple also owns a talent agency based in Los Angeles, The Abstract Talent Agency.

Howie is known for his iconic role as the host of Deal or No Deal (and its 2018 reboot), but it was Terry who encouraged him to take the job in the first place.

"In 2005, when I got asked to do a game show, there was no comics hosting game shows. And I said no to it three times," he told The Gazette in 2018. "My wife told me to take the deal, and I took the deal."

He remembered telling Terry, "'How do I sustain this for an hour? How do I? I don't want to do this. I don't want to just read trivia questions.' My wife said, 'You'll see. It's good.' And I listened to her."

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p> It makes sense that Howie fell in love with someone equally as hilarious. In a 2009 interview with Good Housekeeping, Howie explained that his wife's humor is one of the things that attracted him to her.

"Terry made me laugh. It was wonderful to meet a witty woman," he told the magazine. "Spending your life with someone who doesn't have that wouldn't be palatable."

Their shared sense of humor even extended to their wedding celebrations — the couple spent part of their honeymoon at a comedy club.

"We went to Yuk Yuk's for our honeymoon," Howie recalled to Streets of Toronto, explaining that since they couldn't afford airfare, their nuptials coincided with a business trip. "The day after our wedding, she was sitting on a stool beside me on the stage at Yuk Yuk's, and I explained to the audience that this was my honeymoon show. Again, I'm not a romantic, but this was a moment that she'll never forget."

During an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Howie explained that Terry is quite the animal lover, so he once rented an elephant as part of her birthday surprise. However, the sweet gesture didn't exactly go as planned.

"I had the elephant brought to the house," he said. "But I'm not a good planner, and I didn't invite anyone. I didn't cater. I didn't bring even a staff."

He then played Kelly Clarkson a clip from the surprise, which showed a less-than-enthused Terry looking on as the elephant stood in their backyard. After Clarkson called the ordeal the "saddest party ever," Howie explained that things got even worse, as the elephant ended up causing $45,000 worth of damage to the property.

"It was in our backyard for 12 hours. My wife was bored after a half hour so we went in the house, but elephants, they like palm trees. The elephant took out all our palm trees and laid them down," Howie said, adding that the animal also broke his sprinkler system and dug several deep holes.

Birthday fail aside, Terry is a dog mom to several pups, whom she often shares snaps of on Instagram. "These guys make me smile !!," she captioned one post of her two dogs in February 2023.

Howie was diagnosed with severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder as a child, and he's been open about how the condition has had a crushing impact on his life. He credits Terry and their children for being an anchor that can help pull him from the depression that comes with his disorder.

"The lights of my life are my children and grandchildren," he told PEOPLE in June 2021. "And my lovely wife. She was there for the family when I couldn't be."

Howie explained that while their kids were growing up, he was at times so fearful of germs in the house that he had a guest house built to stay in when a family member was sick. In his 40s, however, the TV host finally decided to seek help after Terry stepped in.

"I was given an ultimatum about my marriage ending if I didn't get help," he explained. "I grew up in an era when the stigma about mental health was huge. But once I realized I wasn't alone, I made it my life's mission to talk about it."

Howie now relies on therapy and medication, in addition to the support of Terry and their children.

"Even on days where I'm in a dark pit, I know that at some point I'm going to climb out of it," he said. "I'm going to see the faces of my family, and that sunshine will be worth the pain."

During a June 2024 episode of ofLive with Kelly and Mark, Howie told the story of Terry's scary fall during a trip to Las Vegas in February, showing a graphic photo of her bruised face.

"We partied. It was too much. She was tipsy. I did not know that, and in the middle of the night she got up and, I don't know where she was headed, but she headed into the wall. She fell and hit the wainscoting," he said on the show. "She hit that as she went down. She slipped, went down, hit that on her eye, fell on the floor, and broke her cheek."

He said that there was "blood everywhere," adding, "I saw her head, and you could actually see her skull. It opened up. I freaked.”

Terry was brought to the hospital and has since made a full recovery. "She is absolutely perfect. There's not a scar. She's beautiful," he said.

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