Ron Howard Thought His Marriage ‘Shouldn’t Have Worked’ but It Is Still Strong after 46 Years

Film director Ron Howard said that his four-decade-long marriage to his wife Cheryl Howard exceeded his expectations mainly because they met when they were young.

In October 2013, actor Ron Howard visited the HuffPost Live studio to discuss one of his projects. The host, Josh Zepps, asked about his marriage to Cheryl Howard.

Ron shared their union has fruitfully succeeded despite the high likelihood that it would not. He explained what a lucky man he is to have found the now-actress.

The screenwriter revealed they are high school sweethearts while adding they also got married young hence his disbelief of how far they have come:

“I felt lucky when we met. It’s crazy. We were teenagers, and it shouldn’t have worked. We got married young, that shouldn’t have worked either, and yet really and truly has.”

The couple met he was a junior at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California. The Oscar-winning director shared there was an instant connection when they first laid eyes on each other.


During an interview with People in June 2019, Ron said this about his wife: “I met her, and there was never anybody else.” After celebrating their 44th anniversary that month, he revealed the secret to their long-lasting marriage is communication. He explained:

“People say, ‘How do you do it?’ There’s no technique. There’s no tactic other than communication is important. You must learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways.”

The father of four added that beyond that, it is only luck because people either grow together or do not and believes no one can force that. Moreover, Ron has been blessed to have Cheryl as his rock throughout his life and has expressed that several times. 

He shared how lovingly supportive the author has been, especially throughout his career, and that their compatibility has endured many ups and downs in their admirable lives together. The producer stated:

“She’s unbelievably supportive and has always been. Our compatibility has endured through all kinds of experiences.”

Notably, Ron is a former child star, having played Opie on “The Andy Griffin Show,” which ran from 1960 to 1968 at the tender age of five and later starred as Richie Cunningham on “Happy Days” from 1974 to 1980. He later found a new passion for working behind the camera.

“The Da Vinci Code” star revealed he is an actor who dreamed of being a director. His latest film documentary is called “Pavarotti” which tells the life story of the famed opera singer. 

Ron and Cheryl tied the knot in 1975 and have been married for 46 years since then. The “Willow” actor proved that they were going strong when they celebrated their anniversary in June this year. He took to social media to express gratefulness for moments shared with his love.

Alongside a selfie of the lovebirds, Ron captioned his post: “Our 46th wedding anniversary. We celebrated quietly but beautifully in Australia on my day off from directing. I’m a lucky man.”

He and Cheryl were all smiles, both wearing glasses in the cuddly photo that featured rose-colored tinfoil balloons in the shape of a “4” and “6” as their backdrop.


Both 67 years of age, Cheryl and Ron love celebrating their milestones together, which is apparent by his social media posts. In 2020, Ron celebrated the couple’s 50th anniversary of their first date with his wife.

He reminisced about the good old days on Instagram and shared they went to see the re-release of a movie at the time and went out for some pizza at an old restaurant. He wrote:

“November 1, 1970, Cheryl & I went on our date. 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.”

The post was accompanied by a picture of his socks which were printed with Cheryl’s face. Ron revealed they were celebrating their special day with the socks they ordered and were going on a trip to their local pizza joint.

He added they would be making their trip in the same car they drove half a century ago. The vehicle is the ’70 VW Bug that the Oklahoma native used to pick up his future wife, stating: “It runs great. So do we.”

Ron and Cheryl share four children – Bryce, 40-years old, Reed, 34, Paige, 36, and Jocelyn, also 36, whom they have all raised outside of the prying eyes of Hollywood in Greenwich, Connecticut. The two are also grandparents to five grandchildren.

Unlike her beloved husband, Cheryl is a California native, born on December 23, 1953, to Charles Alley and Vivian Schmidt. Reports previously stated that she was raised in California and attended the same high school as Ron, where they met.

While the father of her children is a Hollywood star, Cheryl is a talented writer. She has written books that include “Grandma,” “In the Face of Jinn,” and “Tell Me a Story.”

On her website bio, she shared that she was consumed with adventure stories, real-life stories, and fairy tales of well-traveled people when she was a child. Cheryl revealed she started writing at the age of twenty-two and that English was never one of her strengths growing up.

Most notably, she also dabbled in acting and appeared in films such as “Splash” and “Angels and Demons,” including many more. Per IMDb, Cheryl’s latest acting stint was in 2020’s “Hillbilly Elegy.”

She is also a doting mother of three daughters and a son. Cheryl and Ron welcomed their eldest daughter, Bryce, on March 2, 1981, who is an actress and a filmmaker.

They welcomed their twin daughters, Jocelyn, and Paige, on February 5, 1985. Unlike her twin sibling, Paige is also an actress. The pair later celebrated the arrival of their son, Reed, on April 12, 1987.

Leave a Comment