If you ask me, Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of the wittiest, funniest sitcoms ever made. Part of what makes Curb so great is the dynamic between Cheryl Hines and Larry David.
The heat and affectionate tension between these two, as well as the sly lines to one another, are as good as any nighttime cop or lawyer drama.
Cheryl spent years working her way up the acting ranks before achieving success on television – but lately, the focus has been on her marriage to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and her meeting with Fidel Castro…
Today, Cheryl is probably best known for her role as Larry David’s long-suffering wife on the HBO television series Curb Your Enthusiasm.
As a Hollywood star, Cheryl has earned a fair amount of money, and she’s also part of a clan embraced as “American royalty” via her marriage to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
But the truth is that Cheryl fought hard for her place in the entertainment industry.
Born September 21, 1965, in Miami Beach, Florida, she was raised a Catholic and grew up in Tallahassee. There wasn’t much money in the household, but Cheryl, her sister, and her two brothers were expected to attend college and be successful.
As a child, Cheryl developed a love for acting – she was a member of the Young Actors Theatre throughout high school. In retrospect, Cheryl said that much of her comedic streak came from her father, James Hines.
“He was definitely my first exposure to comedy, and what it meant to be funny. He was quick-witted with his own set of phrases and made us laugh until the end,” Cheryl said after her father’s passing in 2015.
After graduating from the University of Central Florida, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. But it wasn’t easy for the ambitious, young actress from Tallahassee. Before her break in Hollywood, she made a living as a waitress, television reporter, and telephone operator.
For a brief period, she was also Rob Reiner’s personal assistant.
Trying to make a name for herself in L.A., she spent her days as an unpaid intern going through headshots.
During that time, Cheryl got a first-hand experience of the cynical nature of Hollywood. One female boss even told her to “get a boob job”, otherwise she wouldn’t have any chance of succeeding in the industry.
“At that time, I hadn’t even thought about it — and it did not seem like it was necessary,” she said. “I went home and started thinking about all the actresses that I really admired and whether breast size had anything to do with it. Like: ‘Goldie Hawn doesn’t have big ones,’” Cheryl told Yahoo.
Finally, Cheryl decided not to go under the knife because she wasn’t ”dying to be on Baywatch.”
Cheryl’s career started taking off after she began performing improvisational comedy and sketches at The Groundlings Theater.
Friends star Lisa Kudrow (Pheobe) was also a member of the Groundlings comedy troupe and became Cheryl’s first teacher. The Groundlings was a great school, and Cheryl learned a lot about improvising and writing comedy sketches.
Until Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cheryl had only done really small roles and guest appearances on the television Swamp Thing and Unsolved Mysteries.
It’s no understatement to say that Cheryl was totally unknown in Hollywood when Larry David came along. He was looking for an ”unknown actress” to play his wife in the series.
Landing the role of ‘Cheryl’ in the popular sitcom changed her life – but back then, in 2000, Cheryl had no clue about who Larry was.
”I said well how old is that guy? Isn’t he … old?” she recalled before meeting Larry, now 75.
The audition was also quite a mess. Before Cheryl walked in, she got a strange heads-up from the casting director.
”Don’t touch Larry. He doesn’t like for people to touch him,” the casting director explained, went on to explain how the show was supposed to feel like a documentary: “So if at any point it feels fake … the audition will be over.’ And … here’s Larry.”
Fortunately, Cheryl did very well. No one could be disappointed in Larry’s choice – the “unknown actress” really nailed her role in the show.
In Curb Your Enthusiasm, the majority of the dialog is improvised. There is a framework or loose script, but every actor in the show has to improvise to create the dialogue ad-lib.
When I started to watch the episodes (fairly recently) I totally forgot that Cheryl was acting, it’s easy to think that she’s Larry’s wife in real life.
Indeed, it seems I wasn’t the only one who was left a little confused.
”When the show first came out people from Tallahassee thought, ‘Well, maybe Cheryl got married’,” Cheryl recalled.
Cheryl has starred in over 100 episodes of the show but sadly, she’s no longer together with Larry. Her character splits up with Larry in season 8. After that, she began dating Larry’s friend, Ted Danson.
In August 2022, HBO renewed the series for a twelfth season.
Cheryl & Robin Williams
Cheryl, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014, has been involved in other projects during her spell on Curb. She has appeared in a number of films, including the road comedy RV where she played opposite the late Robin Williams.
RV was Cheryl’s first big movie – she portrays a less-than-happy mom who has to endure a family trip trapped inside a chaotic camper.
”I don’t think my friends believed me when I was going to be co-starring with Robin Williams. Then they saw the previews and said, ’Oh my gosh, you’re in the whole thing,” Cheryl told The Tallahassee Democrat in 2006.
As many others have testified, Cheryl was blown away by Williams’s kindness and generosity. Even though he was the central star of the movie, he included Cheryl and all the other actors on set.
”Robin was so nice. As soon as I met him he hugged me and said he was a fan of men from ”Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Cheryl said.
Lemonade with Fidel Castro
Naturally, Robin Williams is not the only mega-celebrity that Cheryl has encountered during her life. According herself, she is a friend of the famous writer Nick Hornby, and Barbra Streisand has played Running Charades at her house.
Cheryl is also a poker enthusiast and has won $50,000 over the years. She even once had lemonade with Fidel Castro at his home in Cuba.
”This was probably 10 years ago,” Cheryl shared during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2022.
”And while we were there, my husband wanted to see if we could visit Mr. Castro. And then when we got to the hotel, there was a guy in a white linen suit with a hat that said ’El Presidente will see you’ and they came and picked us up in a van,” Cheryl explained.
Marrying a Kennedy
Cheryl’s first marriage was to the producer and manager Paul Young. The couple tied the knot in 2002 and welcomed a daughter, Catherine Rose Young, in 2004.
But after seven years of marriage, Cheryl and Paul decided to pull the plug and file for divorce. According to Cheryl, they remain close friends and have been working work together on set since the breakup.
“Larry David was my first husband because when I started doing ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ I was single and had never been married before,” she joked in an interview with Fox News.
“Then I married Paul Young, and then I married Robert F. Kennedy Jr.”
One year after her first divorce, Cheryl started dating the environmental lawyer and author Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Cheryl’s husband is the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy.
“We share the same values. Family first. We like to have a good time and work hard,” Cheryl said when they met.
It was thanks to Larry David, her on-off TV husband, that Cheryl and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. became a couple.
”He introduced us — just because we were at the same event,” Hines said in a podcast and continued:
”But then later Larry was like, ‘That’s a terrible idea. No, no, no — don’t get involved.’ Cut to we’ve been married for eight years”.
The Curb Your Enthusiasm actress married Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in 2014. The ceremony was held at the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod in front of 300 guests, including Larry David and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Ever since they met and fell in love, Cheryl has explained how her world changed for the better. She’s been overwhelmed to see how many people Kennedy and his famous family have impacted.
“Someone will come up to Bobby basically in tears and say, ‘What you and your family have done for our country and human rights and democracy has been so important to me and my family,’” Cheryl shared.
But lately, her husband has been under fire after some very controversial statements during a rally against vaccine mandates.
After Cheryl Hines called her husband Robert F. Kennedy Jr. invoking Anne Frank in anti-vaccines speech "reprehensible," he has apologized #THRNews pic.twitter.com/q91ARQYnlu— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 25, 2022
Cheryl called her husband’s remark” reprehensible and insensitive” at the time, and later she talked about how they should learn from each other.
”I think I’ve taught him to I don’t want to say lighten up because he’s” more “funny and playful” than his public persona suggests”, she told Yahoo and continued:
”Hopefully I’m teaching him to check it at the door. Like, don’t bring everything home. He’s invested in so many heavy causes that it’s like: ‘Oh man.’ Sometimes you just need to watch 30 Rock and get your mind off things.”
Dallas Royce photo
In 2011, Cheryl Hines signed on for a role in the ABC sitcom Suburgatory. As a praised and well-renowned actress, she was a great addition to the cast, but the show only ran for three seasons.
Cheryl starred as Dallas Royce, a ”110% upper-middle-class suburban mother” with tanning solution, fake nails, tight clothing, dead hair, silicone rubber, and Red Bull.
With her disarming smile, Cheryl is regarded as one of the sweetest actors in Hollywood. However, we don’t know if she’s undergone plastic surgery like Botox, a facelift, a nose job, breast implants, or cheek fillers.
But for her role in Suburgatory, we certainly got a taste of how she could have looked like. In one of the episodes, Dallas Royce decides to get too much Botox to comedic effect. So the actress wears a silicone forehead, cheeks, and lips – and she looks kind of scary, right?
Fortunately, she could go back to her normal self after the recordings.
As for now, Cheryl has a permanent place on the panel of I Can See Your Voice. It remains to be seen what she comes up with next, but I’m sure we’ll see her on our screens for years to come!
And is it just me or is Cheryl aging like a fine wine? Thanks for all the memories you have created and good luck in the future!