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

The actress said her mom is "so unapologetically herself, and I think she, in a way, raised my dad to be that way"

John Shearer/Getty Ron Howard and wife Cheryl Howard
John Shearer/Getty Ron Howard and wife Cheryl Howard

For Ron Howard, third time was the charm when proposing to high school sweetheart Cheryl.

The Oscar winner and his wife Cheryl have been married for nearly 50 years. Their daughter, Argylle actress Bryce Dallas Howard, explained on Monday's episode of The Drew Barrymore Show why her mom previously said no to her dad twice when he asked her to marry him.

"I grew up very, very, very, very, very sheltered and protected. And it’s really my mom, my mom and my dad have been together since they were 16 and she’s a force of nature," said Bryce, 42.

"She solo’d her first plane when she was 16. When there wasn't a sport for girls in her school she cut off all her hair and told everyone her name was Charlie and she played football; and then when they found out, she started a track team. ... She’s a writer. She writes esoteric science-fiction."

Bryce (who has younger twin sisters Jocelyn and Paige, plus younger brother Reed) described her mom as a "very tough, distinctive, singular lady."

She added of Cheryl, "She’s just so unapologetically herself, and I think she, in a way, raised my dad to be that way. Because they've been together since they were 16, and she’s just kept him so honest and real."

Related: Bryce Dallas Howard Says Dad — and Former Child Star — Ron Howard Forbade Her from Acting as a Kid (Exclusive)

Ian West/PA Images via Getty Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard
Ian West/PA Images via Getty Bryce Dallas Howard and Ron Howard

"How did your parents meet?" asked Barrymore. Bryce answered that they met at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California.

"But, you know, while they had an incredible relationship in high school and everything, he proposed three times and she said no two of them. Because she was like, 'I wanna go to school first. I'm not ready to be on your train yet.' She's really strong."

Related: Bryce Dallas Howard Admits She Didn't Tell Anyone Her Last Name in College: 'I Was Insecure'

John Shearer/Getty Cheryl Howard and Ron Howard in 2017
John Shearer/Getty Cheryl Howard and Ron Howard in 2017

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Back in 2019, Ron, now 69, told PEOPLE about his romance with Cheryl, recalling that, "I met her, and there was never anybody else." He said the key to their long-lasting marriage is "communication."

"People say, ‘How’d you do it?’ There’s no technique. There’s no tactic other than communication is really important. You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways," said Ron at the time. "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."

Argylle is in theaters now.

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