Howie Mandel: A Life of Laughter, Love, and Resilience

Howie Mandel: A Life of Laughter, Love, and Resilience

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Written By Joe Martin

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Howie Mandel and his wife, Terry Mandel (née Soil), have a love story that began in their childhood and has endured for over 40 years. Their journey together is a testament to their deep bond, humor, and mutual support. Here’s a closer look at their remarkable relationship and the life they’ve built together.

Howie and Terry: Childhood Sweethearts to Lifelong Partners

Howie Mandel and Terry Mandel first met as children in Toronto, Canada. They attended high school together at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute. Their first interaction was memorable—

Howie borrowed money from Terry to buy french fries. Reflecting on their meeting, Howie recalled, “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.”

High School Romance and Early Dating

Their romantic relationship began in their teens, although Terry initially rejected Howie’s advances. It wasn’t until they were both 19 that they went on their first date. This date, however, almost ended in disaster due to icy roads. Howie shared, “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.”

A Unique Proposal

Howie’s proposal to Terry was unconventional, fitting his comedic personality. He proposed in a deli, leaving a diamond on the table with the casual remark, “I got to go to the bathroom, but if you want to make a ring go ahead.” Howie admits he’s not a romantic, a trait both he and Terry share. This straightforward approach set the tone for their practical, humorous partnership.

Family Life and Parenthood

The couple has three children: Alex, born in 1989, Jackie, born in 1984, and Riley, born in 1992. Their family has grown to include grandchildren, with Howie often sharing proud moments on social media. Their daughter Jackie has been open about her struggles with anxiety and OCD, conditions she shares with her father. She credits Howie for being transparent about his own mental health issues and erasing the stigma around them.

Terry’s Career and Contributions

Terry Mandel is a talent agent and television producer, having collaborated with Howie on various projects. She was an associate producer for the 1985 TV special “Howie Mandel: Live from Carnegie Mall” and co-owns The Abstract Talent Agency in Los Angeles. Terry’s business acumen and support have been instrumental in Howie’s career, including encouraging him to host “Deal or No Deal.”

A Shared Sense of Humor

Humor is a cornerstone of Howie and Terry’s relationship. Howie often jokes about their life together, and Terry’s wit complements his perfectly. Howie once recounted that they spent part of their honeymoon at a comedy club because they couldn’t afford airfare. Their wedding celebrations and life events are filled with laughter, reflecting their shared sense of humor.

Terry’s Love for Animals

Terry is an avid animal lover. Howie once rented an elephant for her birthday, a gesture that went hilariously awry. The elephant ended up causing significant damage to their property, but Terry’s love for animals remained unshaken. She is a dedicated dog mom, frequently sharing photos of her pets on Instagram.

Supporting Howie Through Mental Health Struggles

Howie Mandel has been open about his severe anxiety and OCD. Terry’s unwavering support has been crucial in his life. Howie credits her and their children for helping him manage his mental health. He once said, “The lights of my life are my children and grandchildren. And my lovely wife. She was there for the family when I couldn’t be.” Terry’s support was pivotal when Howie finally sought help for his conditions.

Overcoming Health Scares Together

In February 2024, Terry had a frightening accident during a trip to Las Vegas. She fell and injured her face severely, but Howie was by her side throughout her recovery. Despite the severity of the incident, Terry made a full recovery, showcasing the resilience and strength of their partnership.

Howie Mandel’s Diverse Career

Howie Mandel’s career spans various facets of the entertainment industry. He is a judge on “America’s Got Talent,” hosts the podcast “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” with his daughter, and recently completed a documentary titled “Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me.” Howie’s versatility as a host, actor, and producer has made him a mainstay in American entertainment.

Conclusion: A Testament to Love and Laughter

Howie and Terry Mandel’s relationship is a testament to enduring love, mutual support, and the power of humor. From their humble beginnings in Toronto to their successful careers and loving family, they have built a life filled with laughter and resilience. Their story is an inspiration to many, demonstrating that with love and humor, couples can navigate life’s challenges together.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did Howie Mandel and Terry Mandel meet?

Howie and Terry Mandel met in their teens at a concession stand where Howie borrowed money from Terry to buy french fries.

2. How many children do Howie and Terry Mandel have?

They have three children: Alex, Jackie, and Riley.

3. What is Terry Mandel’s profession?

Terry is a talent agent and television producer, co-owning The Abstract Talent Agency in Los Angeles.

4. How has Terry supported Howie through his mental health struggles?

Terry has been a steadfast support for Howie, encouraging him to seek help for his anxiety and OCD and being there for the family when Howie couldn’t.

5. What is the secret to Howie and Terry’s long-lasting marriage?

Howie often jokes that the secret is that Terry “doesn’t speak or understand a word of English,” but in truth, their shared sense of humor and mutual support play a significant role in their enduring relationship.

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