Howie Mandel, judge on America’s Got Talent: The Champions wears many hats in his life. He is a husband to his wife Terry, to whom he’s been married for over three decades, and he is a dedicated father to three grown-up children.
Mandel was born in Toronto, Canada in 1955. He was expelled from high school for impersonating a school officer and hiring a construction company to build an addition to the school. After that, Mandel worked as a carpet salesman and stand-up comedian. By September 1978, he already had a week-long booking as a featured cat at a comedy club in Toronto.
Since then, Mandel has hosted the NBC game show Deal or No Deal. He also created the children’s cartoon Bobby’s World and he now judges America’s Got Talent. He has been the longest-tenured judge on the show, having judged on it since 2010.
Here’s what you need to know about Howie Mandel’s family:
1. His Father Was a Real Estate Agent
Mandel’s father, Al Mandel, was a real estate agent. He also manufactured lights and was of Polish descent.
Mandel, who has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) says his parents, Al and Evy, were supportive of him, even when he was teased in high school for not wanting to tie his shoes so he didn’t have to touch the dirty laces. He said his parents accepted his differences and helped him to manage his depression.
Howie has said that the day of his father’s funeral was the crappiest day of his life, literally. Apparently he’d been talking to a friend of his father, and when the friend ran away, there was something that looked like a “piece of candy” on the floor. Mandel picked it up, and it wasn’t candy, it was actually feces, he told “Hollywood Medium.”
2. He Met His Wife in High School
Howie Mandel is married to Terry Mandel, who he has been married since 1980. The couple appears to spend a lot of time together. According to the Wall Street Journal, the couple met when they were 12 years old at the local YMCA and their first date was when they were in high school.
In 2013, Howie revealed that he had rented Terry an elephant for her birthday. She is an avid animal lover, so the gift made sense to Howie. He said it would be a cool gift, but it actually ended up ripping up trees, breaking sprinklers and pooping on the lawn.
Since then, Mandel has said Terry is constantly rescuing animals. Some of those animals don’t actually need to be rescued.
“If it passes her path, she picks it up and brings it, saying ‘look what I rescued,’ he said, continuing on to joke about it. “It’s got a shiny coat, it’s got tags, you took. You know who rescued it? The guy who’s ringing the doorbell saying he wants his puppy back.”
He also told a story on Conan about a time Terry picked up a stray cat. The cat bit her; she had to go to the hospital to get stitches. She also had to go to the hospital weekly for rabies shots in case the cat had rabies.
3. He Has Three Children
Howie and Terry have two daughters and a son: Jackie, Riley and Alex. Jackie and Alex both followed their father into the producing and show business life, but Riley did not follow in their footsteps. Riley graduated from her doctorate program in 2018 and is now a doctor. None of the children live at home.
Jackie is a stay-at-home mother who runs a YouTube channel called “Life with Jackie.” Her content ranges from office tours to gender reveals to getting haircuts with her kids. Howie sometimes guest stars on the channel. She has 48.9 thousand subscribers at the time of writing.
“Our daughters, Jackie and Riley, and our son, Alex have all moved out,” Howie told The Wall Street Journal. “I’m tired of getting calls that the sprinkler doesn’t work or something needs to be fixed. If I had my druthers, I’d live in a hotel. Terry doesn’t want to hear about it. The compromise we struck is buying an apartment in Los Angeles.”
4. Howie’s Son Alex is in Show Business
Alex Mandel is a YouTuber and actor. He began acting in 2009 on Howie Mandel’s TV series Howie Do It. Later, he was in the movie Killer Holiday, which premiered in 2013. IMDB also lists him as a director and writer for 6 episodes of Odd Jobs, a TV series that aired in 2010.
His YouTube channel, Alex Mandel Vlog, has 476,000 subscribers. The content ranges from pumpkin carving to game of thrones to cutting his father’s hair. He also posts prank videos like “SHATTERED HOWIE MANDEL’S PHONE PRANK” and “HOMEMADE REMOTE CONTROL PRANK CANNON.” His last video was posted one month ago.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Alex’s net worth is $500,000 in 2020.
5. His Wife Helped Him Become Famous
Howie almost turned down Deal or No Deal, according to CNBC. He reportedly thought the show would be a “career killer,” but Terry later convinced him to take the offer.
“In 2005 when I got asked to do a game show, there was no comics hosting game shows,” he told The Gazette. “And I said no three times. My wife told me to take the deal, and I took the deal.”
He continued, discussing the show’s 2018 return. “There is no show I’ve ever been part of or no project I’ve ever been part of that has changed my life, that has changed my career, that is more exciting to be part of than Deal or No Deal and […] I’ve been trying to scratch and claw my way back onto the stage.”