The world knows him best as a famous talk show host who’s achieved stardom in show business. But for Howie Mandel, his most-defining role is that of a husband and a father. Married for almost 4 decades to Terry Soil and having raised three children with his beloved wife, the comedian always chooses his family above everything else.
“Much as I love my job, first and foremost, I am a husband and a dad,” Mandel said, according to Good Housekeeping.
Before he became one of the most recognizable faces on television, Mandel met Soil at the local YMCA in their town when they were just kids at the age of 12, as reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet. But it was only in high school when they started dating and eventually, Mandel knew that she was the perfect match for him.
“She made me laugh. It was wonderful to meet a witty woman,” he said. “The biggest void that people can have in their lives is a sense of humor. Spending your life with someone who doesn’t have that wouldn’t be palatable.” He also said on Instagram that she’s the “first girl I loved and still going strong after 40 years.”
They got married on March 16, 1980, according to EarnTheNecklace.com and are parents to three children, Jackie, Alex, and Riley. And now, they are grandparents, too.
After almost 40 years, they are still as devoted to each other as they were decades before.
He’s forever grateful to have his wife be a part of his life and said, “I’m really lucky to have met Terry all those years ago because not only is she beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. I’m lucky because she puts up with me.”
Not only was he able to share a happy marriage and a loving family with his wife, but she is also the reason behind him becoming the host of ‘Deal or No Deal’, which was a turning point in his life.
“When ‘Deal or No Deal’ was offered to me, I said no,” he said. “In fact, I kept saying no until my wife, Terry, told me to stop being such an idiot and take the deal.” And so he did.
Bringing the humor both on stage as well as off stage, he joked about the secret to his long-lasting relationship and said, “If you ask her why our marriage has survived all these years, she’ll tell you it’s because of the 200 live stand-up gigs I still perform every year. In fact, Terry would like to personally thank UJA for inviting me to perform and for getting me away from her for a couple of days. To be honest, she likes me to go away whenever possible,” according to The Times of Israel.
The couple, still head over heels in love with each other, don’t have a specific night that they have set aside for date night. And this is why every single day of the week feels like a date with each other. When he was asked what his “favorite date night is”, Mandel said, “seven nights a week. My wife doesn’t cook, so we eat out every night. It’s not fine dining or anything — we’re not fancy people. Last night, we went to Johnny Rockets. We go to a lot of delis. But every night feels like a date. We see a lot of movies. But we don’t plan a Saturday night out.”
Most of all, Mandel is grateful to his wife for putting up with all his antics and quirks. According to ABC News, he said, “She’s a saint, because a lot of people would not put up with the crap that I doll out because I can’t cope. [Terry] has that understanding. It’s just a lot for her to have to deal with.” A testament to their love for each other, it shows how nothing, not even the weirdest of quirks, can come in the way of a marriage that is meant to stand the test of time.