Who Is Ron Howard's Wife? All About Cheryl Howard

Director Ron Howard and his wife Cheryl Howard are high school sweethearts

Ron Howard (L) and actress Cheryl Howard attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California
Ron Howard and wife Cheryl Howard in 2018. Photo: John Shearer/Getty

Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard have an enduring love.

Ron's long and storied career began in 1959, when he was cast on The Andy Griffith Show at just 5 years old. He went on to star in Happy Days in the late '70s before transitioning to behind-the-scenes work as a director. He has since directed a variety of award-winning films, including A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13 and Hillbilly Elegy.

Through it all, the child actor-turned-director has had the support of his wife, Cheryl, whom he met in high school and married in 1975.

"I met her, and there was never anybody else," Ron told PEOPLE in 2019 shortly after they celebrated their 44th anniversary. "She's unbelievably supportive and always has been. Our compatibility has endured through all kinds of experiences."

Over the course of their decades-long relationship, Ron and Cheryl have raised four children: daughters Bryce Dallas, Jocelyn Carlyle and Paige Carlyle, as well as son Reed Cross. Cheryl has also made a handful of appearances in her husband's movies.

So, who is Ron Howard's wife? Here's everything to know about Cheryl Howard.

She is a published author

Cheryl Howard at the Loews Lincoln Square Theater June 1, 2005 in New York City
Evan Agostini/Getty

In 2005, Cheryl's debut novel, In the Face of Jinn, was published by St. Martin's Press. The story follows two American sisters as they travel to India on business, only for one sister to mysteriously disappear. The other sister's search for her leads to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cheryl found inspiration for her novel from discussions with her friend and martial arts instructor, Ali Nazim, who is from Pakistan.

She traveled to the Middle East to conduct research for the book, writing on her website: "In October and November of 1997, with the help of a retired CIA operative, I traveled to the North West Frontier on the Afghan border and initiated a three and a half week adventure in the company of two ex-military officers of the Pakistan army. Their job was to guide (and smuggle) me through the tribal areas of the country, exposing me to places where visitors, especially Americans, were officially forbidden."

Her adventurous father inspired her

Born in Glendale, California, in December 1953, Cheryl, along with her two sisters, was raised by her parents, Charles and Vivian Alley. Her father was a "chemical and aerospace engineer, an amateur astronomer, and a marksman."

As Cheryl wrote on her website, he was also "the first Caucasian to survive a climb to the top of Mt. Fujiama in the winter, and at the time of his death he was purported to be the oldest competitive aerobatic pilot in the world."

She shared that her adventure-loving dad inspired her interest in "travel and the exotic."

"I flew planes, soloing on my 16th birthday, shot guns from the age of five, and raised a variety of wild animals in my home, monkeys, an anteater, skunks, a proverbial zoo," she continued.

She holds two college degrees

Cheryl Howard and Ron Howard attend the "Rush" world premiere at The Odeon Leicester Square on September 2, 2013 in London, England
Dave J Hogan/Getty

The published author holds both a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in screenwriting. She wrote on her website that Ron's "passion for story" is what drew them together.

"Although Ronny doesn't quite share my enthusiasm for the Middle East and Central Asia (was a bit nervous when he first learned of my desire to travel there) he has always supported my need to suss out a story," she added. "I didn't start writing until the age of 22 and English was never my strong point. But I do, dearly, love a good yarn. Especially, if afterwards, I'm just a little more aware of the world around me."

She and Ron are high school sweethearts

Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Ron and Cheryl met when they were attending John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. In November 2020, Ron commemorated the 50th anniversary of their first date on Instagram.

"Nov 1 1970 Cheryl & I went on our 1st date," he wrote alongside a photo of himself wearing socks with Cheryl's face on them. "We went to see a re-release of Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad Mad Mad World and then got some pizza at now defunct Barnone's in Toluca Lake. Quite a start, right?"

Ron also shared their plans to celebrate that day: "We'll be driving in the same '70 VW Bug I picked Cheryl up in 5 decades ago. It runs great. So do we."

She and Ron married in 1975

After dating for five years, Ron and Cheryl wed on June 7, 1975, in Burbank, California. Their wedding was attended by Ron's famous costars, including his TV dads Andy Griffith and Tom Bosley, as Ron revealed on Instagram in June 2021.

Following their 44th anniversary, Ron told PEOPLE that "communication" was the secret to their lasting marriage. "People say, 'How'd you do it?' There's no technique," he said. "There's no tactic, other than communication is really important. You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways. Beyond that, there's an element of luck because people either grow together or they don't and I don't think you can force that."

She has made cameos in Ron's movies and TV shows

Ron Howard (R) and Cheryl Howard attend the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California
John Shearer/Getty

Cheryl has made several cameos in Ron's projects. She even played herself on the TV show Arrested Development, which Ron executive produced and narrated.

In an interview with the Television Academy, Ron called Cheryl his "good luck charm," citing that as the reason why he put her in every film he worked on.

"At a certain point, I became very superstitious about making sure that she appears, that's she's at least identifiable in one frame," he said. "They don't have to be big cameos, but she's gotta be in there."

She and Ron have four children

Bryce Dallas Howard, Paige Howard, Jocelyn Howard, Reed Howard
Paige Howard Instagram

The Howards have four children together: daughter Bryce, twins Paige and Jocelyn and son Reed.

Two of Ron and Cheryl's children have followed in their dad's footsteps and pursued a career in entertainment. Bryce is known for roles in movies such as Jurassic World and The Help and TV shows like Black Mirror. She also directed the documentary Dads, which featured Ron, as well as episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

Paige made her feature film debut in the 2009 movie Adventureland and has starred in few other movies and shows since then, including the films The Employer and Collection.

Reed is a professional golfer who shares golfing tips on his website and his YouTube channel. He also invented a training aid for golfers who tend to sway off the ball, per Golf.com.

Jocelyn is very private and not much is know about her, however, she has appeared alongside her family members at a few public events.

In 2018, all four of the Howard kids appeared as themselves on the show Arrested Development alongside their mom and dad.

She and Ron have six grandchildren

Seth Gabel, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, director/father Ron Howard and mother Cheryl Howard at the Ron Howard Star ceremony on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame held on December 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California
Albert L. Ortega/Getty

Ron and Cheryl are also proud grandparents to six children. Their oldest daughter, Bryce, shares two children with her husband Seth Gabel: son Theodore and daughter Beatrice.

Reed and his wife, Ashley, have a daughter named Aspen Leigh and the golfer often shares glimpses of their family of three on Instagram.

In April 2020, Bryce announced the birth of her niece Elodie Vivian — Ron and Cheryl's sixth grandchild — on Twitter. "The 6th Howard grandbaby is born and I'm already thinking of dressing her up as Baby Yoda," she wrote, referencing her show The Mandalorian. "Welcome to the Howard family Elodie Vivian. Theodore Norman, Beatrice Jean, Quinn Everett, Sawyer William, and Aspen Leigh welcome you home."

Paige got married to actor and artist Tim Abou-Nasr in May 2022, but the couple do not have any children yet. While Jocelyn does not have any social media and is very private, it can be assumed that her children are Quinn, Sawyer and Elodie.

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