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Ron Howard Reveals Longtime Wife Cheryl Has 'Been in Everything' He's Directed Since 11th Grade (Exclusive)

Howard's wife Cheryl has credits in his hits like "Splash," "Apollo 13" and "A Beautiful Mind"

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic Ron Howard and Cheryl Howard

Ron Howard has mixed his personal life with his work since he was a teenager!

Howard exclusively tells PEOPLE in a recent interview that he always sets aside a part for his wife Cheryl Howard in any film he's made since before he became an Academy Award-winning director.

The conversation was surrounding the 40th anniversary of his classic romantic comedy Splash, the "fish out of water" film starring Tom Hanks as Allen Bauer, a man who falls in love with a mermaid named Madison, famously played by Daryl Hannah.

"Cheryl was there, and [she] makes her usual cameo in the movie," he says of Cheryl's appearance in Splash. "She's been in everything that I've ever done since 11th grade in high school."

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

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The Happy Days star and Cheryl met in high school and have four children. She has credits in his films dating back to 1977. On IMDb, her credits start with the short Old Paint.

Splash is her first official film credit, but she's also had roles in Grand Theft Auto, the first feature film Howard directed, along with his smash hits like Apollo 13 and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind.

In Splash, Allen's brother Freddie Bauer (John Candy) looks up her character's skirt when they're both guests at a wedding.

Howard also reveals to PEOPLE that the world has Cheryl and a few other women to thank for Splash's happy ending.

<p>David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage</p> Cheryl Howard (L) and Ron Howard attend a special screening of "Thirteen Lives" at the Vue West End on July 18, 2022

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Cheryl Howard (L) and Ron Howard attend a special screening of "Thirteen Lives" at the Vue West End on July 18, 2022

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The original script — written by Brian Jay Friedman, Lowell Ganz, and Howard's longtime business partner Brian Grazer — ends on the dock in New York after Allen accepts the fact that he's in love with a mermaid and helps Madison escape the facility where they had both been captured to be studied.

He's aided in freeing Madison by his brother Freddie and Walter Kornbluth (Eugine Levy), the mad scientist who has a change of heart after he exposes Madison as a mermaid and captures the couple.

Madison tells Allen that he could live with her and be safe in the ocean, but if he did he'd never be able to visit his brother on land again.

Related: Ron Howard Proposed 3 Times to Wife Cheryl: Bryce Dallas Howard Explains Why Mom Said No Twice

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Seth Gabel, Bryce Dallas Howard, Director Ron Howard, Cheryl Howard, Reed Cross Howard (R) and family attend Ron Howard's star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Seth Gabel, Bryce Dallas Howard, Director Ron Howard, Cheryl Howard, Reed Cross Howard (R) and family attend Ron Howard's star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Friedman, Ganz, Grazer and Howard's vision of the ending saw Allen content with choosing his brother over his true love. But Cheryl and the other wives who read the Splash script in its later stages disagreed with the choice.

"It was really interesting because all of our wives read the script over a weekend and they all adamantly implored us to change that," Howard remembers. "They didn't talk to one another, it was just a spontaneous alignment."

<p>Walt Disney Studios</p> The final scene of "Splash."

Walt Disney Studios

The final scene of "Splash."

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"We all listened to that, and I was glad that we did," Howard adds.

Allen jumps off the docks in the film's ending, helps Madison fight off villains, and swims into happily ever after with her by his side.

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Read the original article on People.