Howie Mandel and his wife Terry Mandel are parents to two daughters and one son
Howie met his wife, Terry Mandel, when they were kids. Both attended high school at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, fell in love and, ultimately, got married on Mar. 16, 1980. Over the course of their four-decade marriage, the couple welcomed three children: daughter Jackelyn (Jackie), 39, son Alex, 33, and daughter Riley, 31.
When his children were teenagers and young adults, Howie opened up to Parade Magazine about marriage and parenthood, including the life lessons he hoped to teach them.
"What I try to teach my kids, is that life isn’t about making money or getting famous,” he explained. “If you’re doing something you look forward to and it’s fun, then you’ve made it. I happen to be lucky that way. The things that I look forward to and the things that I do for a living are one and the same.”
Though Howie thought of himself as a strict father, he knew that as his kids got older, he wouldn’t be able to set and enforce the rules in their household as he once had. He told Family Circle in September 2008, “I can’t tell them what to do anymore. Well I can, but they don’t have to listen!"
Howie also credits his wife for his children’s studious nature, as the comedian was ultimately kicked out of school and never graduated. He said that while he “set the example of what not to do,” they inherited Terry’s smarts, adding that his children “certainly didn’t get the buckle-down-and-get-good-grades ethic from me.”
Here's everything to know about Howie Mandel’s three kids.
Jackelyn Shultz, 39
Howie and Terry welcomed their first child, daughter Jackelyn, in 1984.
Growing up, Jackelyn walked the red carpet and made several public appearances with her father. Over the years, she’s accompanied him to multiple big Hollywood events, including the premieres of Titanic in 1997 and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in 2003. In May 2013, Jackelyn also attended the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala alongside Howie, where the father-daughter duo posed on the red carpet together.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, Jackelyn works in the entertainment industry. In addition to documenting her life as a mother of two on social media on YouTube and TikTok. She has served as a special correspondent on PEOPLE (The TV Show!) for America's Got Talent in 2021, including giving fans a sneak peek at Heidi Klum’s dressing room. She also co-hosts the podcast Howie Mandel Does Stuff with her father, a project they started during the pandemic. Howie told PEOPLE in June 2021, "It came out of a necessity of trying to connect with my child. We spend hours a day trying to make each other laugh."
Jackelyn also covered the red carpet for America’s Got Talent, an experience that Howie described as “awkward” to Access Hollywood in September 2018. “She likes awkward more than I like awkward and she will ask me questions,” Howie said, to which his daughter responded, “He is the hardest person to interview and I get the most before interviewing you.”
Jackelyn said her nerves happen because her dad “messes” with her, explaining, “It’s not just straightforward asking questions. He’ll mess with me then I’ll lose my train of thought.”
Jackelyn married DJ Alex Shultz, who goes by Lex Larson professionally, on July 20, 2013. She was surrounded by family at the wedding, including her brother, who officiated the ceremony. Two years after her nuptials, Jackelyn shared a nearly 20-minute-long video on YouTube capturing her special day. Jackelyn and Shultz share two children: Abbey and Axel.
Howie recapped Jackelyn’s wedding during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in March 2014, telling Ellen that the moment was “emotional.” He explained, “That’s my baby girl, my first baby. I walked her down the aisle, I got all teary-eyed, I got emotional.”
In addition to their penchant for comedy, Howie and his daughter have one other big thing in common – they both suffer from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. The comedian has been living with anxiety and OCD for almost his entire life and told PEOPLE in June 2021 that he’s “not proud of that gift I've given her.”
Jackelyn said that having a father who has faced the same struggles as her and understands what she’s gone through has been “helpful,” adding, "My dad is very open about going to therapy and erasing the stigma. Whenever I was upset or sad or having a bad day, I knew I could reach out."
Growing up, Jackelyn said both of their issues “ripped us apart,” explaining, "There were a lot of control issues about me being safe, like, where was I, what did I get into, what did I touch? He was strict. And there was a lot of hovering. We had trouble getting along in those times."
As for today, Jackelyn said that the father-daughter duo "couldn't be closer.”
Alex Mandel, 33
Howie and Terry welcomed their second child, son Alex, on Sept. 30, 1989.
In July 2022, Howie got candid about his son’s childhood struggles with a stutter after Amanda Mammana revealed during her America’s Got Talent audition that she had a speech impediment but when she sang, she didn’t stutter.
"My son was a stutterer as a kid," Mandel said, according to NBC. "And this was a big hurdle to get over. So to hear your story, I kinda relate to it ... And to watch that journey, from who you are and what you struggle with, to hear the purity today in not only your voice and your song but the words and the story, it was heroic and beautiful. Thank you for doing what you do."
Like his older sister, Alex pursued a career in comedy and entertainment. He had an active YouTube channel where he shared vlogs and other comedic videos with his 479,000 subscribers. He also shows off his humor on Instagram, including several posts that feature his famous father.
Alex has been at his father’s side over the years at a variety of events, from panels to red carpets. In February 2019, the father-son duo attended the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour and spoke during the National Geographic segment, which involved Alex holding a large snake on stage standing beside his father. They were also photographed at a post-show red carpet for America's Got Talent in September 2014, as well as at Adam Carolla's party in May 2013.
During an April 2016 interview with PEOPLE, Howie shared a hilarious story about embarrassing his son during a livestream when he tried to find him a girlfriend. The comedian explained, “My oldest daughter is married and about to have her second child and my younger daughter just got engaged. My son’s only engagements are when he communicates with his online followers, so I thought, ‘Why not see if I can set my third child on the path towards marriage.’ ”
Amid the livestream, Howie made a callout for a girlfriend for his son, though he said he wasn’t “trying to embarrass him” and that his existence “does that enough.” However, he said that while his son was chatting with viewers, he figured it was “as good a place as any” for Alex to find himself dates. Despite his embarrassment, Howie said he was joining his son for another livestream to find a partner, adding, “I liken this to what I do as a judge on America’s Got Talent. I never know what I’m looking for until I find it. This is basically just America’s Got Daughter-In-Laws.”
Alex has followed in his father’s footsteps in more ways than just comedy — he also serves as a mental health advocate. During a January 2017 appearance on CTV’s Your Morning, Alex joined his father as part of the Bell Let's Talk campaign and said he was interested in participating after witnessing everything his family’s mental health struggles, both through his father and personally.
“I think that it does get passed down,” Alex said, causing Howie to chime in and jokingly claim his son was “blaming him. Alex had his own clever response, adding, “So it’s his fault that I also have ADD and anxiety. But it is something that affects me, and I think that one thing that people don’t talk about is that it affects the family as a whole, even if only one member has that. I think it’s good that we’re doing this together, because we’ve had to deal with it together as a family.”
Riley Ehrlich, 31
Howie and Terry welcomed their youngest child, daughter Riley, in 1992.
While Jackelyn and Alex followed in their parents’ footsteps by working in the entertainment industry, Riley prefers to stay out of the spotlight and instead pivoted to the health and wellness industry. According to her LinkedIn, in 2014 she graduated with honors from Chapman University in Orange, California, and received a Bachelor of Science degree. After completing her undergraduate studies, Riley returned to Chapman University and graduated again in 2018 and earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Terry celebrated her daughter’s graduation in a sweet post on social media, sharing a photo of the mother and daughter posing side-by-side while Riley donned her cap and gown and held her diploma. In the caption, Terry said she was “so proud,” writing in part, “So proud of Dr Riley Mandel who also won an award for academic excellence!!.”
Today, Riley describes herself as a holistic health coach on her Instagram. On social media, she shares a wide range of fitness routines with her 30,000 followers. In addition to her workout regimes, she also posts a variety of other tips, including dietary suggestions, tips for motivation to workout, pain reduction and prevention, and more.
Riley got engaged to her boyfriend, Cameron Ehrlich, in February 2016. At the time, Howie shared in a sweet post on Instagram how ecstatic he was about his daughter’s engagement, sharing a selfie of his big smile and adding in the caption, “I'm smiling because my baby girl just got ENGAGED!”
Riley and Cameron got married June 29, 2019. Much like her sister Jackelyn, Riley’s older brother Alex also officiated their nuptials and even surprised the couple with a sloth during the ceremony for a sweet reason. In an Instagram post, Riley explained, “Before kissing each other, we both kissed the sloth, promising one another to take life as slow as a sloth and enjoy every moment we have together.”
Though Howie rarely shared photos of his youngest child on social media, since she prefers to be out of the spotlight, he shared a touching post to mark her wedding day. He posted a snap of the bride and groom sharing a kiss, simply writing in the caption, “This happened. My baby girl.”
On their first anniversary, Riley shared that the couple had known each since they were teenagers, writing in the caption, “One year of marriage but you’ve been my best friend since I was 16.”
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